A delighted Air Belgium celebrated its first new flights to South Africa yesterday, Wednesday 14 September 2022. The airline said: “Cheers to new flights to South Africa! Our #A330neo takes off from Brussels Airport to Johannesburg and Cape Town ? “
Simultaneous flights to Cape Town and Johannesburg are now available from Brussels Airport every Wednesday and Sunday at 19:45 (arriving 7:15 the following day), while return flights from South Africa to Belgium are on Mondays and Thursdays.
Arriving in South Africa today (Thursday 15 Sep), this is Air Belgium’s first foray into Africa.
Air Belgium posted photos on Wednesday, saying: “We are honored to inaugurate this route with our dear passengers as well as a special delegation and H.E Tokizile Xasa, Ambassador of South Africa in Belgium – Visit South Africa ??”
The airline had announced its plans in April to operate seasonal flights to South Africa starting in September 2022.
Brussels has historically been Cape Town’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 R2.61-billion worth of goods exported in 2021, up 81.5% from 2020.
“It is an exciting and important chapter for Air Belgium,” says CEO Niky Terzakis. “But we’re equally thrilled to introduce South Africans to a new airline and an alternative
route – and thereby direct access to the heart of Europe.”
According to Terzakis, Air Belgium is committed to offering passengers an experience that is affordable, comfortable, hassle-free, green, and trustworthy.
“We often talk about ‘Belgitude’, and our motto is ‘Fly Belgian Class’, which is all about bringing joy back to international travel,” says Terzakis. “And while our travellers value our fun and engaging approach to travel, we also deliver what really matters: a safe, seamless journey; transparent billing (no hidden fees); and a generous luggage allowance. What’s more is that we offer travellers an environmentally-friendly travel option as the Airbus A330neo consumes on average 25% less fuel compared to previous generation aircraft. Lower fuel consumption also means less CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. Our aircraft offer what is best in comfort aboard: reduced noise level, mod-lighting, and state-of-the art inflight entertainment with WI-FI and internet
connection throughout the flight.”
Fares start at R 11,569 for an all-in return ticket between Johannesburg and Brussels and passengers are allowed 30 kg baggage allowance free.
“Of course, for South Africans the real drawcard is Brussels,” says Terzakis. “Not only is it the gateway to Europe, with high-speed trains connecting the city to hubs like London, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam in a couple of hours, but it is also a destination in its own right, with visitors delighting in its rich heritage, food, culture
and Belgian spirit.”
The twice-weekly flights are good news for business travellers as Belgium is currently South Africa’s 6 th largest trading partner as well as the Western Cape’s 7 th largest
European export market. As such, Belgium is ideally positioned to capture the interest of the corporate and government sectors in South Africa.
“I welcome Air Belgium’s new triangular route between Brussels, Johannesburg and Cape Town. Whether for leisure travel or business travel, this flight will undoubtedly
*contribute to boosting* the country’s tourism, its economy and job creation,” says South African Tourism Chief Operations Officer, Nomasonto Ndlovu. She adds that
international arrivals to South Africa are increasing steadily, and each new route and connection should be celebrated.
She said: “We are thrilled to welcome the Air Belgium team, and it’s fitting that their first flight arrives in the middle of September, which is Tourism Month in South Africa, when we celebrate, champion, and recognise the importance of our tourism industry.”
On its website, Air Belgium is promoting South Africa’s “steep coastline and majestic wildlife” offering a “variety of sceneries and experiences without changing countries! Plan your dream holiday in Cape Town or Johannesburg and enjoy the thrill of the ocean and lasting memories in the wilderness.”
The Airbus A330neo flight offers 30 seats in Business Class, 21 seats in Premium Class and 235 Economy Class seats; and includes the latest ecological, environmental and technological advantages.
In April, 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.”