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The economic role of the aviation industry in Belgium


  • Azele Mathieu
  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe


This paper aims at assessing the direct and total (direct, indirect and induced) impact of the Belgian air industry (BAI). The empirical analysis shows that in 2003 the ten largest Belgian airlines had about 4.300 employees. The "indirect" and "induced" effects of these airlines activities generate about 4.700 additional employees. The estimated (and lower bound) multiplier effects are of 2,1 for the number of employees, 2,2 for added value and 1,6 for government revenue. These multipliers reflect the crucial role played by the BAI for the Belgian economy. They should be observed in the light of the deep crisis that the industry had to face in 2001, induced by a world-wide economic crisis and worsened by the September 11th event and the SARS epidemic risk. This crisis ultimately led to the loss of 1.457 Sabena's employees. If the Belgian government and the BAI work together to seize several potential opportunities, the total number of employees induced by the BAI could jump up to 20.000 by the year 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • Azele Mathieu & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2005. "The economic role of the aviation industry in Belgium," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 48(4), pages 393-418.
  • Handle: RePEc:bxr:bxrceb:y:2005:v:48:i:4:p:393-418

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    More about this item


    Belgium; air transport industry; externalities; multipliers; economie impact;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models


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