Aviation industry in the Benelux - statistics & facts
Aviation is known as the development, production, operation and use of aircraft. The industry in the Benelux is home to leading international companies such as Boeing, Bombardier and contains Europe's third largest airport by number of passengers. It is a thriving industry, with a focus on civil aviation and air cargo transport.
For decades, the Benelux has been a main hub for air transport, which resulted in a strong market position when it comes to passenger and freight transport. This is partly due to its geographical advantage, but infrastructure and high quality services contributed to this status as well. When looking at the air freight transport from both KLM and Luxair, the Dutch Royal Airline saw its annual weight of cargo decrease to approximately 599,000 tons in 2019, while Luxair also had a decrease in freight to 893,000 tons in 2019.
Aviation industry in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, one of the main airports is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Owned by Royal Schiphol Group, it is the largest airport in terms of passenger numbers and one of the world's most important transport points in Europe. Schiphol saw its passenger numbers reach 71.7 million in 2019. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, passenger traffic decreased by more than 70 percent in 2020, reaching only 20.9 million passengers. Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) are prominently presented at Schiphol and also suffered from it as well. In 2020, KLM's annual revenue decreased to 5.1 billion euros.
Aviation industry in Belgium
In Belgium, Brussels Airport saw its passenger numbers increase every year until 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic started. If in 2019 there were roughly 26.4 million passengers utilizing Brussels airport, in 2020 the number dropped to only 6.74 million. The number cargo flights at Brussels Airport decreased significantly, although it saw a little increase recently. In 2020, 18,900 cargo flights were registered, but roughly 5,800 more cargo flights were seen in 2007.
Aviation industry in Luxembourg
Looking at Luxembourg Airport, it saw its cargo volume increase from roughly 893,000 tons in 2019 to 947,400 tons in 2020. The airport is known for its larger volumes in air cargo transport, something Luxeair Group contributed to. In 2020, Luxeair Group's revenue amounted to approximately 263 million euros, a decrease compared to 2019.
Outlook on the aviation industry in the Benelux region
The growing demand for flights, safety, and crowd control management are subjects which became of crucial importance for the civil aviation industry. Furthermore, the rise of low cost airlines such as Easyjet, Ryanair, or Wizair made its contribution to the growing demand by providing cheap flights. Therefore, the aviation market will become even more competitive.
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Erick Burgueño Salas
Research expert covering climate change and the water industry