Longer half-term break leads to spike in international travel
The number of Belgian residents travelling abroad over the spring half-term holidays is expected to be significantly higher this year, due to the decision to extend the break by an extra week for French-speaking schools.
Brussels Airport announced that it was preparing for more than 900,000 travellers between Friday 17 February and Sunday 5 March.
Of that number, around 528,000 passengers are expected in the first week alone, which remains the only week of holiday for the Dutch-language education system.
If confirmed, this would place the number of passengers at 81% of the level of traffic seen during the same period in 2019, before the outbreak of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Another 391,000 people are expected to pass through the airport the following week, which is also a holiday for French-speaking schools under their new calendar.
Friday (17 February) and Sunday (19 February) are anticipated to be the busiest days in terms of departing passengers.
Belgians who can afford to travel over the spring break have traditionally favoured warm climates such as the Canary Islands, Spain, Malta, Morocco and Egypt, or winter sport destinations such as Innsbruck and Salzburg.