With almost 200 direct connections to destinations abroad, 19 million passengers and 776,000 tons of cargo transport in 2022, Brussels Airport is the gateway to and from Flanders for many business travelers and cargo. And by extension to the rest of the country and Europe. The location for our Flanders International Business Awards could not be more symbolic. Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company, talks about the crucial role of the airport in Flanders’ economy.

Stronger together

“Brussels Airport is the second-most important economic growth hub in Belgium, accounting for some 24,000 direct and 40,000 indirect jobs. No fewer than 317 companies are operating on the site. This is a city in itself, bursting with initiatives, innovation, diversity and commitment. You can see it as an epicenter of different economic activities, which means that a sectoral and cross-sectoral approach is ingrained in the DNA of Brussels Airport.

We are convinced that we therefore offer strong added value within Flanders’ ecosystem. We gladly welcome all sorts of initiatives that strengthen and highlight that much-needed ecosystem, such as FIT and its Flanders International Business Awards.”

"We are the gateway from and to Flanders - and by extension Europa."
Arnaud Feist
CEO Brussels Airport Company
Arnaud Feist - Brussels Airport Company

Societal role

“Such an important role also comes with responsibilities, which we embrace with great ambition. For example, we contribute to socially relevant solutions to challenges such as climate change, mobility pressure, digitalization and strengthening Flanders’ position in the world.

These are particularly complex issues for which we have partnerships with diverse sectors. The airport serves as an ideal testing ground and ecosystem for the development of innovative solutions in various fields. For example, we are the project leader of Stargate, a program within the European Green Deal.

For this project, we work with a consortium of 21 partners to develop innovations and initiatives that accelerate the transition to greener aviation by 2026. We focus on 3 pillars: further decarbonizing airport operations, improving local environmental quality and stimulating the modal shift.”

Investing pays off

“Additionally, we also invest in startups that contribute to greater innovative capacity, supporting the agility and growth of Brussels Airport. Examples include our investments in Jetpack, SkeyDrone, DronePort and Airport Intelligence, a Flanders-based startup that is very active internationally.

Brussels Airport also indirectly helps exporters from Flanders and foreign investors win deals. After all, a direct connection is one of the crucial factors in the international decision-making process. That’s why we continue to expand our network of direct flights to mainly intercontinental destinations.”

Inspiring cross-pollination

“We are happy to share our passion, skills, knowledge and creativity with other partners through initiatives such as FIT’s. After all, innovation and progress face universal stumbling blocks and barriers. By sharing experiences across company walls and sectors, we give Flanders a bright future together.”

Brussels Airport Company

  • Operator of Brussels Airport and Skyhall
  • Some 200 direct connections with destinations abroad
  • About 19 million passengers and 776,000 tons of freight transport (2022)

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