Gradual return to pre-pandemic levels: Four new airlines come to Brussels Airport

Gradual return to pre-pandemic levels: Four new airlines come to Brussels Airport
Passenger check-in at Brussels Airport. Photo by Helen Lyons/The Brussels Times.

Four new airlines are coming to Brussels Airport this summer season, as air travel slowly returns to pre-pandemic levels.

The airport’s summer schedule officially starts on 27 March, and joining the roster for the first time are Dutch airline Transavia, Norwegian airline Flyr, Icelandic airline PLAY and TUS Airways from Cyprus.

Returning to the airport after a two-year break are three additional airlines: Delta, which will start a daily flight to New York/JFK; Air Transat, which will operate three flights per week to Montreal and CSA Czech Airlines, with a route to Prague.

“Brussels airport will be directly connected with no less than 185 destinations and is thus gradually reaching the number of destinations before the Covid crisis (202 destinations summer 2019),” the company said in a statement.

The additional passenger airlines bring the total number at Brussels Airport to 60.

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Brussels Airlines has noted a high demand for sunny destinations during the Easter holidays and says they expect this to only increase due to a large number of last-minute bookings, generating optimism about a return to pre-pandemic levels of air travel in the summer.

“In addition to the last-minute reservation trend that we have been noticing for two years, we also see that departing on Thursdays and returning on Mondays has become remarkably more popular,” said Tom Maes, Head of Commercial Steering at Brussels Airlines.

“It seems that the ‘new way of working’ as a result of the pandemic has led to more flexibility for employees in managing their work-life balance.”

New destinations on offer

With the new and returning airlines, Brussels Airport is expanding the destinations it services.

Dutch Transavia will operate 16 flights a week to Alicante, Ibiza, Faro and Heraklion. Flyr will offer four flights a week to Oslo. PLAY is launching four weekly flights to Reykjavik, with connections to the United States. TUS Airways will be flying to Larnaca on Mondays and Fridays.

Curaçao and Havana were already introduced as new destinations last winter, operated respectively by Air Belgium and TUI fly. But starting in April, TUI fly will also offer weekly flights to Aruba. There are also new destinations within Europe with Ohrid (North Macedonia) and Zadar (Croatia) by TUI fly and Kalamata (Greece) by AEGAN.

Various airlines will be expanding their existing operations from Brussels Airport, too, with Corendon Airlines operating their first flights to Las Palmas and Tenerife in Spain, and Nador and Al Hoceima in Morocco.

Eurowings is starting a weekly flight to Pristina (Kosovo) and Brussels Airlines is opening routes to Mytilene and Samos in Greece, Rabat (Morocco) and Munich (Germany).

The Greek SKY Express will soon fly not only to Athens but also to Heraklion, Royal Air Maroc will be starting a new twice-weekly flight to Marrakech and Turkish Airlines will be flying three times a week to Ankara. Finally, Swiss Airlines will also be flying daily to Geneva.

Major intercontinental destinations that will once again be served directly include Miami (TUI fly) and Ouagadougou and Conakry (Brussels Airlines). With the deployment of a ninth Airbus A330, Brussels Airlines also hopes to further expand the network to Africa.


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