Competition coming up for KLM/Air France and TUI

Air Belgium Airbus aircraft

PHILIPSBURG — Air Belgium intends to fly to the former Netherlands Antilles in the course of next year. The Belgian airline announced this yesterday during a press presentation.

Air Belgium is ready to expand and plans new routes. Yesterday CEO Niky Terzakis announced the launch of a new destination, Mauritius, in mid-December 2020, from Brussels Airport with two weekly flights. The company is also eyeing flights to one destination in the Dutch Antilles and to several airports in the United States, flights that are scheduled to start in 2021.

If Air Belgium flies to the Caribbean part of the Dutch Kingdom, this means competition for KLM/Air France and TUI. Several hundred Belgians live on the Leeward and Windward Islands who benefit from a direct connection to their home country. Among them, there are landlords of apartments and condos who like to welcome fellow countrymen as holidaymakers.

Brussels Airport is also easy and quick to reach for travelers from the Dutch provinces of Limburg, Brabant, and South Holland. The Thalys high-speed train takes only an hour and 19 minutes from Rotterdam to arrive in Brussels.

Air Belgium, which has over 350 employees, has only been active for two years. The company managed to achieve a turnover of 10.5 million euros in the months of April and May thanks to cargo and repatriation flights, reports the Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. The company closed 2019 with a turnover of 62.5 million euros and a profit before tax of 5.6 million euros.

The airline has four Airbus A340-300s and is focused on expanding its fleet next year. Since December last year, Air Belgium flies to Guadeloupe and Martinique. The airline service was a success, according to the CEO, who speaks of a ‘really encouraging’ start until the temporary stop due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. On July 15, flights to the two French islands will resume.

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In Dutch: https://stmaartennews.com/news-in-dutch/concurrentie-aantocht-voor-klmair-france