BY TIM HEDGLEY, GROUP TRAVEL EDITOR
BRUSSELS Airlines, Belgian’s leading airline, announced today a new route from George Best Belfast City Airport to Brussels.
Northern Ireland will be linked 5 times a week with the European Capital. Passengers can also continue their journey via Brussels Airport to many other Brussels Airlines destinations.
The new service will start on the 27th of March 2016.
Flying between Belfast and Brussels will be much easier as from the 27th of March next year.
Travel times of more than 5 hours and connecting at airports will become a thing of the past thanks to the new direct non-stop service that Brussels Airlines will inaugurate at the start of the next Summer Season.
Schedule (in local times):
Flightnbr From To Departure Time Arrival Time Days
SN 2151 Brussels Belfast BHD 15h30 16h15 188.8.131.52
SN 2151 Brussels Belfast BHD 14h30 15h15 …4…
SN 2152 Belfast BHD Brussels 16h50 19h35 184.108.40.206
SN 2152 Belfast BHD Brussels 15h50 18h35 …4…
Belfast George Best City Airport will be connected 5 times a week with Brussels Airport by a Brussels Airlines AVRO RJ 100 jet (97 seats). Flights will operate on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
Thanks to the convenient timing of the flights in the afternoon, passengers can not only travel comfortably to Brussels or Belgium, they can also continue their journey to one of the many Brussels Airlines destinations in Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Scandinavia, Austria, Hungary or Poland.
Brussels Airlines, member of the Lufthansa Group and Star Alliance, offers ideal travel solutions for business and leisure clients. Passengers have the choice between 4 different travel formulas: Bizz&Class, Flex&Fast, Light&Relax and Check&Go.
Brussels Airlines will be the only Star Alliance member operating to and from Belfast. The launch of the Belfast service also means that Belgian aviation is back in Ireland after an absence of 15 years.
“We are delighted that we can add Ireland to our continuously growing map of European destinations”, says Brussels Airlines Chief Commercial Officer Lars Redeligx. “On a weekly basis we will offer close to 1.000 seats on the route. Belfast is an important touristic, administrative and economic destination. Thanks to our investment in this new service we give the region also access to our Brussels Airlines and Star Alliance network. This is not only great news for the inhabitants of the Belfast area but also for the economy and the tourism industry in Ireland.”
Brian Ambrose, Chief Executive of George Best Belfast City Airport, said: “2015 has been a very successful year for Belfast City Airport with passengers numbers expected to be up 10% on last year. We have had our sights set on increasing connectivity with key European destinations and I am delighted that we have been able to deliver on these promises commencing both an Amsterdam and Brussels service.”
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s announcement is really good news for tourism to Northern Ireland in 2016. We look forward to co-operating with Brussels Airlines to maximise the promotion of this new flight to Belfast. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism. Tourism Ireland is committed to working with Brussels Airlines, Belfast City Airport and other tourism partners, through co-operative marketing, to drive demand for this new service, as well as working with other carriers and partners to promote and help maintain vital routes and services to Northern Ireland.”
Welcoming the news, Invest NI’s Chief Executive, Alastair Hamilton said: “Invest Northern Ireland is strongly committed to supporting the Northern Ireland Executive’s aim of enhancing direct air linkages between Northern Ireland and Europe as a vital contributor to economic development. This new air route will be strategically important in helping to deliver this objective. Our local exporters will now be positioned to take advantage of the direct connectivity it will offer to Brussels but also be able to use this service as a springboard further into Europe. I congratulate Belfast City Airport and Brussels Airlines for their commitment to make this happen.”
Gerry Lennon, Chief Executive, Visit Belfast, said: “This brand new Brussels-Belfast air link will be hugely significant in our targeted efforts to promote Belfast as an attractive, modern and cosmopolitan city break destination to one of our key European markets and will be essential to assisting us in promoting our award-winning credentials as a leading, easy-to-access destination for major international conferences, meetings and events. As the capital of an expanding Europe, Brussels is a major tourism market for the city and this new route will assist us greatly as we look to bring in even greater numbers of business and leisure visitors. It also strengthens our European connections further and will allow many more visitors to travel to Belfast, and to Northern Ireland, both directly and indirectly.”
Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) said: “The introduction of new routes benefits local business people in terms of developing business linkages and improving access to overseas customers and international markets. In particular, this new service will restore Northern Ireland’s direct air connection to the very heart of Europe, building our position as a destination for business and leisure tourism. It will also give people in Northern Ireland direct access to the capital of the European Union where important decisions are taken by the European Parliament which impact the business community and citizens in Northern Ireland.”
About Brussels Airlines
Brussels Airlines, member of Lufthansa Group and a Star Alliance member, is the Belgian airline that offers the widest choice of flights to and from the capital of Europe, Brussels Airport.
The company has more than 3.500 employees and 49 aircraft operating some 300 flights daily, connecting the Capital of Europe to over 80 premium European and African destinations and New York JFK and Washington D.C. On long haul flights, the airline operates an all new Business Class with full flatbeds and state of the art inflight entertainment, and a brand new Economy class with ergonomic seats and individual inflight entertainment touchscreens. On its European routes Brussels Airlines offers the choice between Check&Go, Light&Relax, Flex&Fast and Bizz&Class.
In addition to its 19 destinations in Africa and 2 in the US, Brussels Airlines and its intercontinental partners also offer long-haul codeshare flights to the United Arab Emirates, China, Thailand, India, North America and Canada. Brussels Airlines offers cargo capacity on all its flights, commercialised by the Cargo Department. The airline also handles its own daily maintenance. Brussels Airlines is owned by SN Airholding and is backed up by more than 90 years of aviation experience.
More information on brusselsairlines.com