Brussels Airport

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Not to be confused with Brussels South Charleroi Airport.
Brussels Airport
Luchthaven Brussel-Nationaal (Dutch)
Aéroport de Bruxelles-National (French)
Brussels Airport official logo.png
Brussels - National (Zaventem) - Melsbroek (BRU - EBBR - EBMB) AN1788412.jpg
Airport type Public & Military
Operator Brussels Airport Company
Serves Brussels, Belgium
Location Zaventem, Machelen and Steenokkerzeel
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 184 ft / 56 m
Coordinates 50°54′05″N 004°29′04″E / 50.90139°N 4.48444°E / 50.90139; 4.48444Coordinates: 50°54′05″N 004°29′04″E / 50.90139°N 4.48444°E / 50.90139; 4.48444
Airport diagram
Airport diagram
BRU is located in Belgium
Location in Belgium
Direction Length Surface
m ft
01/19[1] 2,987 9,800 Asphalt
07R/25L 3,211 10,535 Asphalt
07L/25R 3,638 11,936 Asphalt
Statistics (2014)
Passengers 21,933,190
Freight (tonnes) 453,954
Aircraft movements 231,528
Sources: Brussels Airport,[2] AIP[3]

Brussels Airport (IATA: BRUICAO: EBBR) (also called Brussel-Nationaal/Bruxelles-National (Brussels-National) or Brussel-Zaventem) is an international airportNM (11 km; 6.9 mi) northeast[3] of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. In 2014, almost 22 million passengers arrived or departed at Brussels Airport, making it the 23rd busiest airport in Europe. It is located partially in Zaventem, partially in the Diegem area of Machelen,[4] and partially in Steenokkerzeel, in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is home to around 260 companies, together directly employing 20,000 people and serves as the home base for Brussels Airlines, Jetairfly and Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium.

The company operating the airport is known as "The Brussels Airport Company N.V./S.A."; before 19 October 2006, the name was BIAC (Brussels International Airport Company), which was created by Belgian law through a merger of BATC with the ground operations departments of the RLW/RVA. Since 2011, the airport is owned by the Toronto-based Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (39%), Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund I and Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund III (36%) and the Belgian State (25%).[5]


Early years[edit]

The origins of Brussels Airport at Zaventem date back to 1940, when the German occupying force claimed 600 ha (1,500 acres) of agricultural fields reserved as a back-up airfield ("Steenokkerzeel"). There the Luftwaffe established Fliegerhorst Melsbroek and constructed 3 runways in the shape of a triangle: runway 02/20, runway 07L/25R (both of which are still in use today) and runway 12/30. The airport buildings were constructed in the nearby municipality of Melsbroek and not of Zaventem, which is why the airfield was known to the locals as Melsbroek (in Dutch) (or "Fliegerhorst Melsbroek" in German). There is an urban legend that the site of the airport was chosen by the Germans after asking locals where to build it – the Belgians then pointed to this location as it was often foggy.

After the liberation on 3 September 1944, the German infrastructure at Melsbroek fell into the hands of the British. When the old civilian airport in Haren became too small, the Belgian authorities decided to use the aerodrome at Melsbroek for the new national airport. By 1948, a new terminal building was constructed to replace the old wooden building. In the same year, the lengths of both runways 02/20 and 07L/25R were increased, to 1,200 m (3,900 ft) and 2,450 m (8,040 ft) respectively, whereas 12/30 remained at 1,300 m (4,300 ft). The civil aerodrome of Melsbroek was officially opened by Prince Charles, Count of Flanders, the Prince Regent, on 20 July 1948. From 1948 to 1956 many more buildings and facilities were erected, mostly on the Melsbroek side of the site.

In 1955, a railway line from Brussels city centre to the airport was constructed. The line was officially opened by King Baudouin on 15 May 1955.

In 1956 a new 2,300 m (7,500 ft) runway was constructed, 07R/25L, which runs parallel with 07L/25R. The runway is still in use today and saw its length later increased to 3,200 m (10,500 ft). In April 1956 the Belgian government decided to build a new airport, using the same runways, but with the buildings located within the municipality of Zaventem. In April 1957, construction started of the new terminal, preparing the airport for the 1958 World Fair. The grass runway 12/30 had to make way to allow for the new passenger terminal. This new airport was inaugurated 5 July 1958, almost just in time for the 1958 World Fair. The buildings on the Melsbroek side are still in use by the Belgian Air Force (15th Air Transport Wing), and this is still known as Melsbroek airfield. Both Zaventem Airport and Melsbroek Air Base, the military airfield, share the same runways.

Development since the 1960s[edit]

During the boom of commercial aviation in the 1960s and 1970s, several hangars were constructed. A new cargo terminal was constructed in 1976. In 1994, a brand new terminal was constructed adjacent to the old 1958 building. Two old piers were torn down and replaced by modern ones. In 2002, amidst the turmoil surrounding the demise of the national airline Sabena, a new pier was opened.

In 2005, the airport was awarded Best Airport in Europe by Airports Council International/International Air Transport Association (ACI/IATA), based on a survey of over 100,000 passengers worldwide. Brussels Airport continued to appear in top airports lists as of 2012. A direct train link with Leuven and Liège was opened on 12 December 2005.

In 2007, the airport served 17.8 million passengers, an increase of 7% over 2006. The cargo volume in the same year amounted to 780,000 tonnes, an increase of 8.9% over 2006. In 2008, the airport served 18.5 million passengers, which was an increase of 3.7% over the previous year.[6]

Sabena's demise meant a sharp fall in passenger traffic, a blow from which the airport only slowly recovered. The airport's future is threatened by disagreement between the governments of Flanders and the Brussels Capital Region concerning night-time air traffic routes.

In March 2009, the old mechanical Flight information display systems were replaced by electronic ones.[7] In September 2009, CEO Wilfried Van Assche resigned. One of the (unofficial) reasons was the delay in the construction of the low-cost terminal and the possible lawsuit by 52 airlines active at Brussels Airport, on the grounds of tax discrimination. It was Van Assche who started expanding the Long-Haul network (Jet Airways, Hainan Airlines, Etihad Airways, US Airways) at Brussels Airport. In February 2010 Arnaud Feist was appointed CEO. The company president is Luc Van den Bossche (former Belgian government minister).

According to this non-official study, Brussels Airport is the most noise-polluting airport of 30 European airports in terms of the noise levels created and the number of people affected by take-off and landing operations.[8]


Brussels Airport uses a one terminal concept, meaning that all the facilities are located under a single roof. The terminal building consists of several levels. The railway station is located on −1, busses and taxis arrive at 0, arrivals are located on level 2 and departures on level 3. Levels 2 and 3 are connected to the airport's two piers (A and B).[9]

Departure Halls[edit]

Brussels Airport has two departure halls. The main hall is used by all airlines, with the exception of Jetairfly and Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium. Those two airlines operate from a smaller departure hall next to departure hall 1 as of 30 March 2010. From both the departure halls, both piers can be reached. Brussels Airport currently consists of 54 contact gates, and a total of 109 gates.

Pier A[edit]

Departures area at Pier A

Pier A is the newest pier on Brussels Airport and was opened on 15 May 2002. This pier was destined to support flights from and to the Schengen countries (A-gates). However, since 15 October 2008 all Brussels Airlines flights to African destinations are also handled at this pier. Therefore, border control was installed towards the end of the pier in order to create a new pier. As a result, gates A61-72 were renamed T61-72. Since Brussels Airlines is flying to the United States, these flights also depart from the T-gates.

Until March 26, 2015,[10] Pier A was connected to the main building via a 400 metres (1,300 ft) long tunnel under the tarmac. Each pier used to have its own security zone, so transfer between the piers involved a security check. This tunnel was replaced by the "Connector", a new building that links both piers above ground and allows passengers to walk straight from the check-in desk to their gate in pier A or B, without changing floors. In the opposite direction, the building provides arriving passengers with a smooth and convenient passage to the baggage reclaim hall and the exit. Furthermore, border control has been relocated to a 25-lane screening platform (Europe's largest) inside the Connector which means that changing planes no longer requires a security check.

Pier B[edit]

Pier B is the oldest pier that is still in use at Brussels Airport and is only used for flights outside the Schengen Area. Pier B is connected immediately to the main departure hall and consists of two decks. The upper deck (level 3) is at the same level as the departure halls and is used for the departing passengers, whereas the lower deck (level 2) is used for arriving passengers and connects immediately to border control and the baggage claim area.


Pier A West[edit]

Pier A West is a planned expansion of Pier A, and is meant to relieve Pier B by also handling flights from non-Schengen countries. Pier A West was due to open in 2016, but because of the slow passenger growth, Brussels Airport announced in July 2013 that the works will be delayed until further notice.

Low-cost pier[edit]

Just as is the case for Pier A West, the construction of a new low-cost pier is currently on hold. It will be built roughly where the old south pier used to be. At present, several low-cost airlines including Ryanair and Wizz Air fly to Brussels-South Charleroi Airport, 40 km (25 mi) away from Brussels.[11] In autumn 2013, low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines has announced it will end its flights between Brussels Airport and Turkey. The service between Brussels and Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen will relocate to Brussels-South Charleroi Airport. However, Turkish Airlines announced on 26 November 2013 it will offer one daily flight on the same route, starting one month after Pegasus terminates its operations at the airport.[12] One day later, Ryanair announced the opening of a second Belgian base at Brussels Airport, giving a boost to low-cost traffic at Brussels Airport. Ryanair announced on 27 November 10 new routes from Brussels Airport,[13] although Brussels-South Charleroi Airport will remain the low-cost carrier's primary Belgian base.


Countries served by direct flights from Brussels Airport (Cyprus is served, Kenya ends and Japan & Ghana begin October 2015)

Shops, bars and restaurants are scattered throughout the building. A few facilities are located in the departure area. These are mostly convenience stores and small shops such as the airport shop, a pharmacy, Relay stores, and a coffee shop. But most of the facilities can only be accessed after Security control – and are tax free. Several brands and chains have a branch in both piers, however several only operate in pier A.

The airport also features places of worship (for Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Orthodox Christians and Protestants), as well as a place for meditation for humanists.

From 6 December 2013, all passengers have 30 minutes free Wi-Fi access. After this period, passengers can buy additional Wi-Fi access using their credit card. Telenet, Boingo and iPass customers have unlimited free Wi-Fi access at Brussels Airport.

The airport provides meeting facilities and can host congresses up to 600 participants, either in the Regus Skyport Meeting Center or in the Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel. The latter is the only hotel located on the airport grounds, opposite the terminal. Shuttle services are provided to 14 nearby hotels.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Airlines Destinations Pier
Adria Airways Ljubljana A
Adria Airways Tirana B
Aegean Airlines Athens
Seasonal: Corfu, Heraklion, Rhodes,[14] Thessaloniki
Aer Lingus Dublin
Seasonal: Cork
Aeroflot Moscow-Sheremetyevo B
Air Algérie Algiers
Seasonal: Oran
Air Arabia Maroc Casablanca, Nador, Tangier B
airBaltic Riga, Vilnius[15] A
Air Canada Montreal-Trudeau B
Air Europa Madrid A
Air France
operated by HOP!
Lyon, Bordeaux, Nantes A
Air Malta Malta A
Air Serbia Belgrade B
Air Transat Seasonal: Montreal-Trudeau B
Alitalia Milan-Linate, Rome-Fiumicino A
operated by Alitalia CityLiner
Milan-Linate A
All Nippon Airways Tokyo-Narita (begins 25 October 2015)[16] B
Austrian Airlines Vienna A
Blue Air Bacău, Bucharest, Iași (begins 30 March 2016) B
BMI Regional East Midlands, Newcastle upon Tyne B
British Airways London-Heathrow B
British Airways
operated by Sun Air of Scandinavia
Billund A
Brussels Airlines Alicante, Athens, Barcelona, Basel/Mulhouse, Berlin-Tegel, Bilbao, Bologna, Budapest, Copenhagen, Faro,[17] Geneva, Gothenburg-Landvetter, Hamburg, Kraków, Lisbon, Lyon, Madrid, Málaga, Marseille, Milan-Linate, Milan-Malpensa, Nice, Oslo-Gardermoen, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Prague, Riga, Rome-Fiumicino, Stockholm-Bromma, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Turin, Venice-Marco Polo, Vienna, Vilnius, Warsaw-Chopin[18]
Seasonal: Ajaccio, Bastia, Bordeaux,[19] Calvi, Catania, Figari, Gran Canaria (begins 25 October 2015),[20] Florence, Ibiza, Lourdes, Malta, Naples, Olbia, Palermo, Porto, Seville, Tenerife-South (begins 25 October 2015)[20]
Brussels Airlines Birmingham, Edinburgh, London-Heathrow, Manchester, Moscow-Domodedovo, Saint Petersburg, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion, Zagreb
Seasonal: Agadir, Al Hoceima (begins 11 June 2016),[21] Dubrovnik, Marrakech
Brussels Airlines Abidjan, Accra (resumes 26 October 2015),[22] Banjul, Bujumbura, Conakry, Cotonou, Dakar, Douala, Entebbe, Freetown, Kigali, Kinshasa-N'djili, Lomé, Luanda, Monrovia, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta (ends 24 October 2015),[23] New York-JFK,[24] Ouagadougou, Yaoundé
Seasonal: Washington-Dulles[25]
Brussels Airlines
operated by BMI Regional
Bremen[26] A
Brussels Airlines
operated by BMI Regional
Bristol B
Brussels Airlines
operated by Flybe
Billund, Hamburg, Hannover, Turin A
Brussels Airlines
operated by Flybe
Birmingham B
Bulgaria Air Sofia B
Corendon Airlines Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman B
Croatia Airlines Zagreb B
Czech Airlines Prague A
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, New York-JFK B
easyJet Berlin-Schönefeld, Bordeaux, Milan-Malpensa, Naples, Nice, Toulouse A
easyJet London-Gatwick B
easyJet Switzerland Basel/Mulhouse, Geneva A
EgyptAir Cairo B
El Al Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion B
Emirates Dubai-International B
Estonian Air Tallinn A
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa1 B
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi B
Finnair Helsinki A
operated by Nordic Regional Airlines
Helsinki A
Freebird Airlines Seasonal charter: Antalya, Bodrum B
Germanwings Stuttgart A
operated by Eurowings
Stuttgart A
Hainan Airlines Beijing-Capital B
Iberia Madrid A
operated by Air Nostrum
Seasonal: Vigo (begins 7 July 2016) A
Icelandair Reykjavík-Keflavík A
Jet Airways Delhi, Mumbai, Newark, Toronto-Pearson B
Jetairfly[27] Alicante, Almería, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Málaga, La Palma, Tenerife-South
Seasonal: Ajaccio, Athens, Bastia, Brindisi, Burgas, Catania, Chania, Corfu, Faro, Girona, Heraklion, Ibiza, Jerez de la Frontera, Kos, Lamezia Terme, Lourdes, Menorca, Mykonos, Naples, Olbia, Palermo, Palma de Mallorca, Ponta Delgada, Reus, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Thessaloniki, Varna, Zakynthos
Jetairfly[27] Agadir, Antalya, Aqaba, Boa Vista, Cancún, Djerba, Enfidha, Hurghada, Marrakech, Marsa Alam, Miami, Montego Bay, Pristina, Punta Cana, Rabat, Sal, Santo Domingo, Sharm el-Sheikh, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion, Tirana, Varadero
Seasonal: Bodrum, Dalaman, Dubrovnik, Izmir, Ohrid, Orlando-Sanford, Paphos, Skopje, Zanzibar
operated by KLM Cityhopper
Amsterdam A
LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw-Chopin A
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich A
Lufthansa Regional
operated by Lufthansa CityLine
Frankfurt, Munich A
Middle East Airlines Beirut B
Nouvelair Seasonal charter: Djerba, Monastir B
Onur Air Antalya B
Pegasus Airlines Seasonal: Antalya B
Qatar Airways Doha B
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca, Nador, Rabat (begins 26 October 2015), Tangier
Seasonal: Al Hoceima, Oujda
Ryanair Alicante, Barcelona, Berlin-Schönefeld (begins 27 October 2015), Bratislava (begins 18 January 2016),[citation needed] Lisbon, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Porto, Rome-Fiumicino, Treviso, Valencia, Verona[28]
Seasonal: Ibiza
Ryanair Dublin, Larnaca (begins 18 January 2016) B
Scandinavian Airlines Copenhagen, Oslo-Gardermoen, Gothenburg-Landvetter (begins 25 October 2015),[29] Stockholm-Arlanda A
SunExpress Seasonal: Izmir B
Swiss International Air Lines Zürich A
Swiss International Air Lines
operated by Swiss Global Air Lines
Zürich A
Tailwind Airlines Charter: Antalya B
TAP Portugal Lisbon A
TAP Portugal
operated by Portugália
Porto A
TAROM Bucharest B
Thai Airways Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi B
Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium Charter: Alicante, Almería, Athens, Barcelona, Bastia, Biarritz, Burgas, Cagliari, Catania, Chania, Chios, Corfu, Faro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Girona, Heraklion, Ibiza, Jerez de la Frontera, Kos, Santa Cruz de la Palma, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lesbos, Lisbon, Málaga, Malta, Menorca, Mykonos, Naples, Nice, Olbia, Palma de Mallorca, Palermo, Rhodes, Rimini, Reus, Santorini, Tenerife-South, Varna, Venice-Marco Polo, Zakynthos
Seasonal charter: Ajaccio, Reykjavík-Keflavík, Tivat
Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium Charter: Agadir, Alanya, Antalya, Boa Vista, Bodrum, Cairo, Dalaman, Dubrovnik, Hurghada, Larnaca, Luxor, Marrakech, Marsa Alam, Oujda, Paphos, Sal, Sharm el-Sheikh, Split, Taba, Tunis B
Transavia Seasonal charter: Heraklion, Tenerife-South A
Tunisair Djerba, Enfidha, Monastir, Tunis B
Turkish Airlines Ankara, Eskişehir, Istanbul-Atatürk, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen B
Ukraine International Airlines Kiev-Boryspil B
United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Newark, Washington-Dulles B
US Airways
operated by American Airlines2
Philadelphia B
Vueling Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Lisbon, Málaga, Porto, Rome-Fiumicino, Valencia
Seasonal: Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Santiago de Compostela

1: Ethiopian's flight from Brussels to Addis Ababa makes a stop in Paris. However, the airline does not have traffic rights to transport passengers solely between Brussels and Paris.

^2 All US Airways flights will be rebranded as American Airlines effective October 17, 2015.


Airlines Destinations
Air Algérie Algiers, Casablanca
Asiana Cargo Anchorage, Halifax, London-Stansted, New York-JFK, Seoul-Incheon
operated by ACT Airlines
Lagos, Lomé, Luanda, Nairobi
DHL Aviation
operated by AeroLogic
Bahrain, Leipzig/Halle
DHL Aviation
operated by DHL Air UK
Cincinnati, Lagos, Leipzig/Halle
DHL Aviation
operated by EAT Leipzig
Bergamo, Budapest, Copenhagen, East Midlands, Leipzig/Halle, Lisbon, London-Heathrow, Vitoria
DHL Aviation
operated by Kalitta Air
Bahrain, Cincinnati, Leipzig/Halle
DHL Aviation
operated by Swiftair
Barcelona, Bratislava, Madrid
Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Addis Ababa, Dubai-International, Hong Kong
Finnair Cargo
operated by EAT Leipzig
KF Cargo Toronto
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha, Entebbe, Nairobi, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stavanger
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca
Saudia Cargo Dammam, Jeddah, Milan-MXP, Riyadh, Vienna
Singapore Airlines Cargo Chicago-O'Hare, Copenhagen, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Sharjah, Singapore
TNT Airways Helsinki
Yangtze River Express Chicago-O'Hare, Munich



Busiest European routes from Brussels Airport[30]
Rank Destination Airport(s) Passengers 2013 Passengers 2014 Top carriers
1 Barcelona, Spain BCN 509,505 813,574 Brussels Airlines, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium, Vueling
2 Madrid, Spain MAD 661,101 738,203 Air Europa, Brussels Airlines, Iberia
3 Rome, Italy FCO 466,692 722,229 Alitalia, Brussels Airlines, Ryanair, Vueling
4 London, UK LHR, LGW 569,541 673,448 British Airways, Brussels Airlines, easyJet
5 Lisbon, Portugal LIS 398,930 664,092 Brussels Airlines, Ryanair, TAP Portugal, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium, Vueling
6 Geneva, Switzerland GVA 536,833 557,364 Brussels Airlines, easyJet Switzerland
7 Milan, Italy MXP, LIN 491,385 511,313 Alitalia, Brussels Airlines, easyJet
8 Istanbul, Turkey IST, SAW 516,225 498,424 Turkish Airlines
9 Antalya, Turkey AYT 492,316 492,366 Corendon Airlines, Freebird Airlines, Jetairfly, Onur Air, Pegasus Airlines, Tailwind Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium
10 Frankfurt, Germany FRA 459,555 472,400 Lufthansa
Busiest Intercontinental routes from Brussels Airport[30]
Rank Destination Airport(s) Passengers 2013 Passengers 2014 Top carriers
1 New York, NY, USA JFK, EWR 574,106 593,015 Brussels Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Jet Airways, United Airlines
2 Tel Aviv, Israel TLV 187,433 236,928 Brussels Airlines, El Al, Jetairfly
3 Washington, DC, USA IAD 201,144 226,162 United Airlines, Brussels Airlines
4 Abu Dhabi, UAE AUH 170,743 171,648 Etihad Airways
5 Montréal, Canada YUL 145,729 166,295 Air Canada, Air Transat
6 Mumbai, India BOM 157,029 162,384 Jet Airways
7 Casablanca, Morocco CMN 170,076 158,149 Air Arabia Maroc, Royal Air Maroc
8 Toronto, Canada YYZ 144,394 155,041 Jet Airways
9 Doha, Qatar DOH 131,159 138,939 Qatar Airways
10 New Delhi, India DEL 136,071 138,309 Jet Airways


Statistics of the Brussels Airport from 1990 to 2014 incl. passengers, transfer passengers, flights handled and freight (in t).
Traffic by calendar year[31][32]
Year Passenger volume Change over previous year Aircraft operations Change over previous year Cargo (tonnes) Change over previous year
2014 21,933,190 Increase014.60% 231,528 Increase06.90% 453,954 Increase05.60%
2013 19,133,222 Increase00.90% 216,678 Decrease03.00% 429,938 Decrease06.40%
2012 18,971,332 Increase01.00% 223,431 Decrease04.40% 459,265 Decrease03.30%
2011 18,786,034 Increase09.30% 233,758 Increase03.60% 475,124 Decrease00.20%
2010 17,180,606 Increase01.10% 225,682 Decrease02.60% 476,135 Increase06.00%
2009 16,999,154 Decrease08.20% 231,668 Decrease010.5% 449,132 Decrease032.1%
2008 18,515,730 Increase03.40% 258,795 Decrease02.10% 661,143 Decrease015.6%
2007 17,900,000 Increase07.10% 264,366 Increase03.80% 783,727 Increase08.90%
2006 16,707,892 Increase03.30% 254,772 Increase00.60% 719,561 Increase02.40%
2005 16,179,733 Increase03.50% 253,255 Decrease00.30% 702,819 Increase05.80%
2004 15,632,773 Increase02.90% 254,070 Increase00.70% 664,375 Increase09.40%
2003 15,194,097 Increase05.40% 252,249 Decrease01.80% 607,136 Increase013.1%
2002 14,410,555 Decrease026.8% 256,889 Decrease015.9% 536,826 Decrease08.00%
2001 19,684,867 Decrease09.00% 305,532 Decrease06.30% 583,729 Decrease015.1%
2000 21,637,003 Increase07.90% 352,972 Increase04.20% 687,385 Increase01.90%
1999 20,048,532 Increase015.7% 312,892 Increase04.30% 674,837
1998 18,400,000 Increase015.7% 300,000 Increase08.30%
1997 15,900,000 Increase018.7% 277,000 Increase04.90%
1996 13,400,000 Increase07.20% 264,000
1995 12,500,000 Increase011.6%
1994 11,200,000
1993 10,000,000+
1950 240,000+

Other facilities[edit]

Brussels Airlines has its corporate head office in the, Airport Building 26, located in Diegem, Machelen.[4][33] Brussels Airlines formed in 2006 as a result of a merger between SN Brussels and Virgin Express.[34] European Air Transport had its head office in Building 4–5, in Zaventem.[35]

Before Sabena went out of business, its head office was in the Sabena House on the grounds of Brussels Airport.[36] When it existed, Virgin Express had its head office in Building 116 in Zaventem.[37] SN Brussels, which formed in 2002, had its head office in Airport Building 117 in Zaventem when it existed.[38] Prior to its disestablishment, Sobelair had its head office in Building 45 in Zaventem.[39][40]

Ground transportation[edit]


Brussels Airport bus service

Brussels Airport can be reached by car via the A201, which is directly connected to the R0 highway. From there, the main highways of Belgium can directly be accessed. Private partners provide three car parks at the airport, offering in total 10,600 parking spaces. Shell operates a self-service gas station near the exit of the airport complex.

Several car rental services are located in the airport as well. Europcar, Hertz, Sixt and Thrifty all operate at Brussels Airport.

De Lijn provides bus transportation to and from various cities in Flanders from platforms A and B (via Brucargo). The MIVB/STIB provides transportation into Brussels city centre at Brussels Luxembourg Station via line 12 (weekdays before 8 pm) or line 21 (weekends and evenings after 8 pm) from platform C. Platform E is used by the Hotel Shuttles, offering shuttle services to several hotels near the area.

Taxis are permanently available in front of the arrivals hall. The fare from the airport to the city centre of Brussels is normally around €45. Licensed taxis can be recognized by the blue and yellow emblem.


The Airport Railway Station is located under the airport building at level −1. The train station has direct services to Antwerp, Brussels, De Panne, Ghent, Hasselt, Landen, Leuven, Mechelen, Nivelles and Quévy. At least four trains per hour serve the most used link to Brussels South Railway Station, where international connections are offered by Eurostar (to London), Thalys (to Amsterdam, Avignon, Cologne, Essen, Lille, Marseille, Paris, and Valence), ICE (to Cologne and Frankfurt) and Eurocity (to Basel, Bern, Chur, Luxembourg and Zürich). There is now also a direct train from the Airport to Paris once a day with Thalys. There is a special agreement with Brussels Airlines and Jet Airways for use of this service.

A direct train link with Leuven was opened on 12 December 2005. A direct link with Antwerp and Mechelen via the so-called Diabolo line was opened for public service on 10 June 2012. The Diabolo project is a public-private partnership. It has been decided that all rail passengers to the Brussels National Airport railway station station pay a "Diabolo supplement" to finance the ongoing and planned work.

As of December 2014, a direct train link between Bruges and the Airport will be offered,[41] just as an Intercity service to Schiphol and Amsterdam.[42]

Once the new Schuman-Josaphat tunnel[43] is finished, a new connection will be established to connect Brussels Airport directly to the stations of the EU quarter, being Brussels-Schuman and Brussels-Luxembourg. This will bring the travel time between the Airport and the EU quarter to about 15 minutes. The Belgian Railways announced the line to open as an hourly service as from December 13, 2015.[44][45]


In an attempt to alleviate gridlock around Brussels, the regional transport company De Lijn started the Brabantnet project.[46] Three new lightrail lines will be created, of which 2 will have a stop at Brussels Airport;

- The Airport Tram, connecting Brussels Airport to Brussels-North, but taking a different trajectory than the already existing railway line.

- The Ring Tram, roughly following the northern side of the Brussels Ring and connecting several Brussels suburbs to the Airport

The Brabantnet project is scheduled to be finished by 2020.


Brussels Airport has a special separated road that provides access to the airport for bikers and pedestrians. There is also a special place to park bikes.

Incidents and accidents[edit]

The Boeing 747 that overran the runway in 2008
  • On 18 February 2013, in the 2013 Belgium diamond heist, eight men armed with automatic weapons and dressed in police uniforms seized 120 small parcels containing an estimated US$50 million worth of diamonds from a Helvetic Airways Fokker 100 passenger plane loaded with passengers preparing for departure to Zürich. The men drove two vehicles through a hole they had cut in the airport perimeter fence to Flight LX789, which had just been loaded with diamonds from a Brink's armored van from Antwerp. They carried out the operation within five minutes with no injuries and without firing a shot.[49][50][51]

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ "Brussels Airport Website: Runway 02/20 gets a new name: 01/19". Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "BRUtrends 2010 by Johan Bockstaele". ISSUU. 
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  29. ^ Göteborg får nya direktlinjer och förnyad Lounge
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  51. ^ Casert, Raf (19 February 2013). "Smith, Vicky, "The Great Plane Robbery: Gang of Fake Police Officers Steal £32m of Diamonds in Airport Heist," Associated Press, February 19, 2013, 18:49". 

External links[edit]

Media related to Brussels Airport at Wikimedia Commons