Air transport

The COVID-19 crisis still had a major impact on aviation in 2021

The COVID-19 crisis still had a major impact on aviation in 2021

In 2021, Belgian airports had about 13.5 million passengers and just over 180,000 flights. The COVID-19 crisis still had a large impact on the number of passengers (-62% compared to 2019) and flights (-44% compared to 2019).

With 61% in 2021, the occupancy rate[1] of aircrafts had not yet returned to the level of 2019 (77%). In the second half of the year, however, there was a slight improvement. In 2021, the occupancy rate remained low in the winter months and recovered to some extent from late spring. The number of flights also recovered somewhat from the summer months, but remained well below the figures of 2019.

With regard to the year 2020, the months of April, May and June not only had very few flights, but also the occupancy rate was very low, especially in the months of April and May (11% and 9% respectively).

Freight transport (including postal services) continues to rise sharply in 2021. 2,160,640 tonnes of goods were transported mainly via Liège and Zaventem: this is an increase of 46% compared to 2019 and of 30% compared to 2020.

[1] Occupancy rate = the number of passengers divided by the number of passenger seats available.

Number of flights - arrivals and departures 2020 2021
Arrivals Departures Arrivals Departures
Number of flights (1) 76,108 75,746 91,126 90,860
Zaventem (Brussels Airport) 42,981 42,755 53,733 53,616
Ostende (Ostend-Bruges) 2,712 2,655 2,483 2,443
Charleroi (Brussels South) 10,209 10,186 13,648 13,646
Antwerp-Deurne 3,880 4,029 2,789 2,809
Liège-Bierset 16,326 16,121 18,473 18,346
(1) commercial aircraft - take-off and landing 

Purpose and brief description

The aeronautical statistics provide information on the number of passengers carried, the number of flights and the goods transported (in tonnes) on commercial flights.


All aircrafts that land in Belgium



Timing of publication

Results available 6 months after the reference period