Brussels Airlines, which has long since established itself as a major gateway between Europe and Africa, is now setting its sights on North American expansion with the launch of Toronto-Brussels service on March 27.
According to Director of North America Christophe Allard, who hosted an intimate trade luncheon in Toronto last week to commemorate the launch, the airline has made a big push to expand its global network in recent years, particularly in Europe and Africa where new destinations in 2015 include Bordeaux, Dubrovnik, Ibiza, Lourdes, Riga, St. Petersburg and Accra, Ghana, to name a few. In North America, New York JFK and Washington Dulles were added in recent years as well.
Expansion has certainly paid off – Brussels Airlines carried over seven million passengers in 2015, a 12% increase over 2014. Allard also noted that the airline recorded a 30% increase in online transactions in 2015 over the year prior, with plans to expand its online presence even further. Currently, the company pulls in an impressive one million euros on a daily basis via its online channels.
In addition to the new Toronto route, Allard credits the airline’s codeshare agreements with Air Canada and United Airlines with positioning Toronto as a gateway hub to Brussels and beyond.
When asked, “Why Toronto?” Allard believes there is a “big potential” to Africa from Toronto, and that Canada has a “dynamic interaction” with the continent, especially out of Montreal where the airline codeshares with Air Canada.
Toronto-Brussels will run 5x weekly, departing Toronto at approximately 6:00 p.m. and arriving in Brussels at 6:15 a.m.
For more information visit www.brusselsairlines.com.