Brussels Airlines to increase Africa capacity during peak season

The Belgian flag-carrier will increase its flying to the continent by 40% compared to now from the beginning of December to early January.

Brussels Airlines plans to operate 42 medium-haul and 16 long-haul routes during the upcoming winter season between Oct. 25 and March 27.

During the peak period—running from the beginning of December into the beginning of January—the airline will increase its flying to Africa, offering 40% more flights compared to September and October 2020.

The continent is one of Brussels Airlines’ core markets with 12 destinations served. Before the coronavirus outbreak, Brussels Airlines offered 16 destinations throughout its African network. 

As of Oct. 25, the airline will expand its winter flying —excluding the peak December-January period—by 12% and resume service from its Brussels Zaventem (BRU) hub to Abidjan, Ivory Coast (ABJ) on a daily base. Extra frequencies will be added to Banjul, Gambia (BJL); Bujumbura, Burundi (BJM); Dakar, Senegal (DSS); Entebbe, Uganda (EBB); Freetown, Sierra Leone (FNA); Kigali, Rwanda (KGL); Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (FIH); Monrovia, Liberia (ROB); and Douala (DLA) and Yaoundé, Cameroon (NSI).

In February 2021, flights to Luanda, Angola (LAD) are planned. 

IATA reported Oct. 1 that 31 countries in Africa have reopening their borders to regional and international air travel. In 22 of those countries, however, passengers are still subject to mandatory 14-day quarantines.

Brussels Airlines also plans to return to the North Atlantic market with flights to New York (JFK) set to resume.

Within Europe, services to the new Berlin-Brandenburg Airport (BER) are scheduled from Nov. 8, as well as additional flights to vacation destinations in Spain and Portugal. 

The Belgian flag-carrier, which became a 100%-owned subsidiary of Lufthansa in 2017,  reported €252 million ($295 million) in revenue for H1 2020—a 63% drop on the same period a year ago—after it grounded its entire fleet March 21 through June 14 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The carrier reported a €182 million loss for H1, significantly worse than the €36 million loss in H1 2019.

Photo credit: Joe Pries

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