Brussels Airlines plans a major expansion of its long haul network.
Their fleet will welcome two additional Airbus A330 aircraft. Next spring the airline launches flights to Toronto, now that Jet Airways has announced it is leaving the route. In addition, the offer to Africa and the US will be expanded. The investment leads to additional jobs, an important passenger and freight growth and what’s more, it reinforces Brussels Airport more than ever as an important Star Alliance and Lufthansa Group hub.
Today Brussels Airlines presents an ambitious network and fleet plan that will enable the airline to continue its growth pace in the future.
Bernard Gustin, Brussels Airlines CEO, said:
“This important expansion plan is a significant investment both financially and in terms of employment. We create a larger offer for our growing number of passengers as well as for our cargo clients. At the same time, we take our role as a growth engine for the airport and the Belgian economy to heart.”
Arnaud Feist, Brussels Airport CEO, said:
“The strong partnership between Brussels Airport and Brussels Airlines allows us to build a solid commercial offer in Belgium to key strategic destinations for the European passenger. The further development of the Star Alliance Hub strengthens our competitive position ensuring wide connectivity for Belgium and creating employment and added value for our economy.”
In spring next year, Brussels Airlines will add a ninth Airbus A330 to its fleet. This long-range aircraft allows to connect Brussels Airport and Toronto 5 times a week starting from April, to fill the void of the departure of Jet Airways. Sales of the Toronto flights start next week.
At the same time Brussels Airlines continues to focus on African growth. In spring 2016 extra flights to Kigali (Rwanda) and Entebbe (Uganda) are added to the schedule, bringing the flight frequency to 6 and 4 flights a week respectively.
In the coming 12 to 15 months a tenth A330 will join the fleet to expand the African offer. Brussels Airlines is currently analyzing two new routes, i.e. Lagos and Libreville. More information will be shared later.
New destination Toronto
Toronto is the capital of the Canadian province of Ontario and, with its more than 2.6 million inhabitants, the most populous city in the country. Toronto and the Lake Ontario region are the economic and financial heart of Canada. The city is the global hub of Brussels Airlines’ Star Alliance partner Air Canada, who offers connections to many other destinations in Canada and the US.
Brussels Airlines will operate 5 flights a week to Toronto starting from April.
Reinforcement of the Star Alliance and Transatlantic Joint Venture offer out of Brussels
United, Air Canada and Brussels Airlines join forces to compensate as much as possible the departure of Jet Airways by further increasing their offer on the Transatlantic market to the benefit of their customers. Air Canada will commercialize the new Brussels Airlines Brussels-Toronto flights as a codeshare partner and United will increase its existing flight offer to Newark from next year by operating a second daily flight out of Brussels, which Brussels Airlines will add to its offer as a codeshare destination. In parallel, Brussels Airlines will add a sixth weekly flight to Washington D.C.
In total, the three Transatlantic Joint Venture partners offer six Transatlantic destinations from Brussels Airport in 2016.
“With this growth, Brussels Airlines strengthens its position at Brussels Airport more than ever and creates additional jobs. It also shows how important it is to be able to rely on strong partners” said Bernard Gustin, Brussels Airlines CEO
Marcel Fuchs, United Vice President of Atlantic and Pacific Sales said:
“We are responding to the needs of our customers on both sides of the Atlantic with a second daily service next summer between Brussels and New York. These flights will provide Belgian travelers with more schedule options to New York and – via our Newark Liberty hub — to hundreds of destinations throughout the Americas.”
India under study
Brussels is also analyzing together with its Star Alliance partner Air India, the opening of a route to Mumbai.
Impact on economy and employment
The expansion means that about 140 new jobs will be created for the flying staff (cockpit and cabin crew). At Brussels Airport the investment does not only lead to extra jobs for Brussels Airlines check-in and aircraft maintenance; it also has a positive impact on the external service providers who take care of tarmac- and freight handling and flight catering.
Bernard Gustin, Brussels Airlines CEO added:
“This expansion also leads to indirect employment .When a Belgian airline invests in an additional aircraft, it leads to four times more jobs than when a foreign airline opens a route to our country. The expansion is also an important development for the freight activity of the airport (Brucargo) because it will create new freight and express delivery streams. With the new flights we also make an important contribution to the Belgian trade relations because direct flight connections always provide an economic stimulus and result in tourism growth.”