LONDON – Air Belgium will be connecting Belgium with countries in southern Africa, such as South Africa, Madagascar, Lesotho, and others.
Air Belgium will be flying to South Africa as a seasonal route. Starting September 14th, the airline will be flying every Wednesday and Sunday to Johannesburg, with a continuation flight to Cape Town.
This route will fly under the 8th freedom of the air, stating that a foreign airline is allowed to fly cabotage flights while starting in its own country.
“This is an exciting and important chapter for Air Belgium“, says Niky Terzakis, CEO of Air Belgium.
“For Brussels Airport, the launch of the South Africa route by Air Belgium marks an important step in the extension of our network of destinations with Cape Town and Johannesburg,” explains Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport.
“After no less than 20 years, we are particularly proud that this route is open again. This confirms that Brussels Airport is the right choice for Air Belgium’s long-haul services.”
“We both have a diverse clientele, including Belgian and foreign residents, as well as transfer passengers. We also share a passion for exceptional passenger experience and tailored services.”
“This new destination will be operated with Airbus A330-900neo aircraft, which combine environmental and economic performance with excellent comfort. This aircraft fits perfectly with our commitment to developing a sustainable future for aviation.”
This route is one of the most important for many Belgians. Belgium and South Africa have a deep economic tie, with a yearly amount of 60,000 passengers flying between South Africa and Belgium, and it is expected to rise up to 80,000 at the end of 2024, according to aviation24.be.
Air Belgium will not only be flying directly to South Africa, but they will also open up a partnership with South Africa’s largest airline, Air Link. Together, they will be offering an incredible amount of destinations to the passengers.
The routes that are flown by Air Belgium and Air Link will be to the following destinations:
- South Africa: Durban, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, George, Skukuza, Upington, Hoedspruit, Nelspruit, Port Elizabeth, Pietermaritzburg, Mthatha, Sishen, Polokwane, Richards Bay, Cape Town, East London
- Democratic Republic of Congo: Lubumbashi
- Tanzania: Dar Es Salaam
- Angola: Luanda
- Zimbabwe: Harare, Victoria Falls
- Namibia: Windhoek, Walvis Bay
- Zambia: Lusaka, Ndola, Livingstone
- Uganda: Entebbe
- Botswana: Gabarone, Maun, Kasane
- Mozambique: Maputo, Vilanculos, Nampula, Pemba, Beira, Tete
- Lesotho: Moshoeshoe
- Madagascar: Antananarivo, Nosy Be
“The social and economic ties between Belgium and South Africa are historic and well established. The historical link between South Africa and Belgium is important, especially considering the importance of Brussels to the European Union.”
“Air access and connectivity in South Africa have seen a watershed moment caused by the COVID pandemic. Airlink is privileged to have survived this change and capitalized on the opportunities that presented themselves.”
“Our reputation is built on our ability to provide exceptional service, unparalleled reliability, on-time flights, and genuine service.”
“Air transport markets are rapidly returning to pre-crisis levels, and there is currently an imbalance between demand and supply, so the timing could not be better for Air Belgium to enter the market with Brussels Airport as a central gateway to Europe, and Johannesburg and Cape Town ensuring reciprocity.”
“It is therefore with great pleasure that we enter into this commercial partnership and welcome Air Belgium to South Africa and Airlink’s comprehensive network of destinations in Southern Africa”, said Rodger Foster, CEO of Airlink.
“We often talk about ‘Belgitude’ and our motto is ‘Fly Belgian Class’, which consists in giving pleasure and comfort to passengers in all travel classes“, says Niky Terzakis.
“And while our travelers appreciate our fun and engaging approach to travel, we also offer them what really matters: a safe and seamless trip, all-inclusive prices including a generous baggage allowance.”
“We also offer travelers an eco-friendly travel option as the Airbus A330neo consumes on average 25% less fuel compared to previous generation aircraft.”
“In terms of comfort, our aircraft offer the best: quieter cabins, adjustable lighting, a state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system, and Wi-Fi internet connection throughout the flight”.
Overall, this is a big step forward for Air Belgium, especially as the carrier continues its growth strategy overseas.