Brussels Airlines is resuming its flights to the United States from today/Monday, with a flight to New York being the company’s first transatlantic flight since March 2020.
From this week, Brussels Airlines will be operating three flights a week to New York, and four flights a week to Washington in the US.
“This is a symbolic milestone in our relaunch. It has been 15 months, that has been a difficult period for everyone in the aviation sector,” a spokesperson for the company, Maaike Andries, said on Flemish radio. “Today is another big step towards a more normal operational life and towards more freedom.”
Ticket sales to and from Washington are going particularly well, mainly due to business travellers and people travelling on to Africa book for these flights in particular, according to Andries.
For New York, which is more of a tourist destination, ticket sales are “a bit slower for the time being,” she added. “Of course, that has a lot to do with the travel restrictions that are still in place.”
Currently, tourist travel to and from the US is not yet permitted, and Brussels Airlines is looking towards the American, European and Belgian authorities to come to a joint decision “that it will be easy and accessible for passengers to travel, that the rules will be clear.”
“For a bigger offer, we are looking at the summer holidays, and that includes travel within Europe,” Andries said. “We are really noticing that Belgians want to travel. There is a huge demand for tourist trips. People have put that budget aside, that’s clear.”
Additionally, long-haul flights are just as coronavirus-proof as short-haul flights, as good filters onboard that take care of the air quality, and travellers still have to wear a mask from the beginning to the end of the flight, which ensures that these flights can take place safely, according to the her.
“Additionally, we are now in a period where 95% of the passengers have a negative test. That does not mean that the other 5% are positive, on the contrary,” she Andries.
“These are usually people who are travelling to a destination where a vaccination certificate is already valid, or who have antibodies in their blood after a recent infection – so they can prove that they are indeed travelling safely.”