Brussels Airlines sprouts network growth for summer 2016

European flag carrier, Brussels Airlines is to introduce five additional destinations to its summer network in 2016, including three new routes for the Star Alliance member. At the launch of its summer 2016 schedule, Brussels Airlines confirms new routes will be introduced from Brussels to Belfast City, Crete, Jerez, while new winter routes to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria and Tenerife will be continued into the summer.

Alongside the five new summer destinations, Brussels Airlines is also introducing extra flight frequencies to existing destinations and growing capacity in other markets through the deployment of larger aircraft. This is all part of the carrier’s strategy to include popular vacation regions in its flight offer.

The new Brussels – Belfast City link will be the first direct flight between the Belgian capital and Northern Ireland and will significantly reduce the journey time for the almost 3,000 annual passengers that are already flying on this city pair. From April 2016, Brussels Airlines will introduce a five times weekly year-round link to the centrally located Belfast City Airport, one of two airports that serves the fast-growing destination, which will host Routes Europe in 2017.

A third destination in Andalusia, Brussels Airlines will introduce twice weekly flights to Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain from May through to the end of September. The link will complement its existing flights to Malaga and Seville, while across the border in Portugal, it also serves Faro and expects all these destinations to combine to offer passengers fly and drive holiday options.

The Belgian flag carrier will add the popular Greek holiday destination of Crete to its network from the Easter weekend with twice weekly rotations on Tuesdays and Saturdays to Heraklion. This will complement the airline’s existing route to the Greek capital, Athens, which will be served more frequently from this summer.

The soon to be launched winter links from Brussels to Las Palmas and Tenerife will continue into the summer. Both routes are due to commence at the end of this month at the launch of the winter flight programme and will be served twice weekly using an Airbus A320.

To offer even more possibilities, Brussels Airlines is next summer increasing flight frequencies to many existing destinations. Four extra weekly flights are planned next summer to the Scottish Edinburgh. Brussels Airlines is also investing in its flight offer to Portugal with three supplementary frequencies to both Lisbon and Porto.

The timetable of the new flights has been customised to the growing number of city-trippers, according to the airline. Those wanting to fly between Brussels and Malaga and Venice will see more flights on peak days, the number of flights to Alicante will increase from three to four times a week, while business destinations such as Manchester and Vilnius will be increased with the UK city seeing five evening flights a week. The airline will also increase capacity to Gothenburg, Toulouse, Oslo, Marseille, London, Barcelona and Faro by replacing smaller aircraft with larger equipment.

OAG data shows that Brussels Airlines has grown its summer network capacity for the three past schedule seasons to a high of 6.42 million seats. Its forthcoming winter schedule will also be its largest offering in that season with 4.11 million seats and the eighth year of winter growth.

Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen has travelled across the globe to report on developments in the aviation sector as airlines and airports have continued to evolve and…