The first tourists who left Zaventem airport bound for the United States after a year and a half of closed borders did so on a fully booked flight, according to Brussels Airline spokesperson Maaike Andries.
According to Andries, this trend of busy flights to the US is expected to continue in the coming weeks and months, Belga News Agency reports.
The US officially lifted entry restrictions on Monday morning, allowing vaccinated European travellers with a negative PCR test to travel across the Atlantic again. Three flights left Brussels airport on Monday morning: a Brussels Airlines flight to New York, and two United Airlines flights to Washington and Newark.
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"People are very keen to go to the US again," said Andries. "When the end of the travel ban was announced, we saw a 180% increase in bookings in the first 24 hours."
This busy period is expected to continue for the coming months as the holiday season nears.
"The number of bookings remains at a high level, but there are still some seats available on most flights. We are seeing strong demand for flights to New York, particularly over the Christmas period."
During the winter season, which started on 31 October, Brussels Airlines will offer four flights per week to New York. The company has already announced that it may add flights during the end-of-year holidays if market demand continues to grow.