BRUSSELS AIRLINES TO FLY BELFAST CITY TO BRUSSELS

BRUSSELS AIRLINES TO FLY BELFAST CITY TO BRUSSELS

Release Date: 19 Oct 2015

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  Arrival              Days

SN 2151   Brussels Belfast  BHD    15h30         16h15             1.3.5.7
SN 2151   Brussels Belfast BHD     14h30         15h15               …4…
SN 2152   Belfast BHD Brussels     16h50         19h35             1.3.5.7
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 City Airport. 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.”

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has welcomed the announcement that a new flight between Belfast and Brussels will begin next March.

Jim Nicholson MEP said:

“The news that Brussels Airlines will operate a new service between George Best Belfast City Airport and Brussels from next March is a very welcome development.

“Brussels is a key European city at the centre of EU decision making and it has been several years since this important route has been available from a Northern Ireland airport.  This service should benefit Northern Ireland on a number of levels by improving how local businesses and stakeholders engage with decision makers at the European level. 

“Our tourism sector is also likely to benefit from having this direct link with Brussels and I hope Northern Ireland makes the most of these potential opportunities.”

DUP MEP Diane Dodds has also welcomed the announcement that Brussels Airlines will operate a new air route from Belfast to Brussels from March of next year.

Commenting after attending a special event at George Best City Airport to mark the new investment, which will see Northern Ireland linked with the Belgian capital five times every week, Mrs Dodds said:

“This announcement is great news for Northern Ireland. It is good for tourism, for leisure, and for showcasing our region of the United Kingdom as open for business.

As an MEP, I have experienced at first hand the challenges associated with Northern Ireland not having a direct air route to Brussels, and this new investment will hold great benefits for those like me who engage with the European institutions on a weekly or even daily basis.

However this news holds wider benefits for people right across our Province. The return of Brussels Airlines, the first from Belgium to come to Northern Ireland in 15 years, sends a signal that Northern Ireland is fast becoming a key destination on the global stage - for city breaks, for overseas investors, and for local businesses and entrepreneurs looking to expand into international markets.

Being on the periphery of the UK and the rest of Europe , it is imperative that Northern Ireland is well connected via effective transport links to maximise the development of our economy and provide the best opportunities for businesses, families and households here. The presence of another direct connection to the heart of Europe can only help to strengthen our vision for a successful Northern Ireland.

I would like to commend all of those within George Best City Airport and other organisations whom have worked tirelessly to make this announcement a reality.”


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