Air Belgium has announced plans to operate seasonal flights to South Africa starting in September 2022, with up to three flights each week flying simultaneously to Cape Town and Johannesburg.
- The Johannesburg and Cape Town routes are currently the airline’s only continental Africa flights.
- Brussels has historically been CPT’s second largest unserved market and the largest unserved European market based on two-way international passenger volumes.
- Belgium is the Western Cape’s 7th largest European export market, with R2.61bn worth of goods exported in 2021, up 81.5% from 2020.
Wesgro welcomed the news for Cape Town and the Western Cape, revealing that Air Belgium’s plan is to schedule two flights to Cape Town per week – one direct and one triangular route from Brussels – Johannesburg – Cape Town in September.
The Belgian airline is expanding its fleet to enable the launch of new routes to South Africa, with Johannesburg and Cape Town being the carrier’s only continental Africa flights.
In 2019, two-way international passenger volumes on the BEL-CPT route exceeded 35 000 passengers, amounting to a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10% each year between 2015 and 2019.
In addition, a total of 863 metric tonnes of air cargo was transported on the BEL-CPT route, representing a 52% recovery rate when compared to 2019, Wesgro said.
In terms of exports, Belgium is the Western Cape’s 7th largest European export market, with R2.61bn worth of goods exported in 2021 (up 81.5% from 2020) while Brussels has historically been Cape Town’s second largest unserved market and the largest unserved European market based on two-way international passenger volumes.
Western Cape Minister of Finance, David Maynier said: “Air Brussels focuses on leisure travel and shows that there is a clear uptick in demand for flights to Cape Town and the Western Cape, which is good for our economy and the creation of jobs in the Western Cape. I would like to congratulate the Cape Air Access team at the Western Cape government’s official destination marketing organisation, Wesgro, who continue to proactively and successfully engage with key tourism markets, taking advantage of pent-up traveller demand, to increase connections to the Western Cape.”
City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, James Vos, said: “This is great news for Cape Town! The additional capacity provided between Belgium and Cape Town will offer superb potential for growth in business and leisure travel between these destinations for international visitors and locals alike… The more we extend our reach, the more Cape Town and South Africa can reap the economic benefits of tourism.”
Wesgro CEO and Official Spokesperson for Air Access, Wrenelle Stander, said the news “adds another ray of hope to our tourism industry”.