TORONTO — With an investment of 10 million euro per aircraft in a completely new Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class, Brussels Airlines says it wants to offer ‘a boutique hotel in the air’.
The first refurbished A330 will be operational in April 2019.
Design and décor for the new A330 cabin interior take their inspiration from the Belgian Art Nouveau look with premium quality wood and leather. And since culinary excellence is key to Belgians, Brussels Airlines teams up with a Belgian Star Chef every year to design the Business Class menu’s on its long-haul flights. With its new cabin the airline also brings the Belgian beer and bar culture to the sky, by including a self-service bar in its aircraft and offering a varying choice of eight well-known Belgian beers to all guests. Belgian wines, coffee and premium Belgian chocolates from Neuhaus are served by the airline’s crew.
“At Brussels Airlines we are continuously working on improving the comfort for our guests on board as well as on the ground,” says Christina Foerster, CEO, Brussels Airlines.
“With this significant investment in our long-haul travel experience, we emphasize once more on our commitment towards an exceptional passenger experience. The experience delivered by the finest boutique hotels has been the source of inspiration for our new Intercontinental Business Class. We want to be the most personal airline, give a personal service to every guest and offer everyone the warm hospitality Belgium is known for. And that is exactly the essence of a boutique hotel, offering a world-class service in a small scale environment. The comparison of our aircraft – especially on the long haul – with a boutique hotel makes a lot of sense.”
Brussels Airlines’ Ibrahim Bouaabdalli, Account Manager – Africa expert – Canada, was in Toronto recently with Eurowings Group’s Marketing Manager, The Americas, Andrea Bonaituo to talk about Brussels Airlines’ plans for the Canadian market. Together with Star Alliance partner Air Canada, Brussels Airlines offers flights out of both Toronto and Montreal. The fleet renewal is key news for the industry, says Bouaabdalli: “You always need to update the product,” adding that North American routes will get priority.
Travel agents are very important to Brussels Airlines, says Bouaabdalli, especially in Canada where a good 70% of bookings come from travel agencies, both traditional and OTAs.
The airline’s Belgium stopover option, offering stopover privileges from one to five days, is popular, adds Bonaituo. Passengers can customize their stopover by picking two cities from a list of 14, plus activities.
Here’s a look at the highlights of the refreshed A330s …
- 30 seats in a staggered configuration
- Passengers can choose between a single and a double seat depending on whether they are travelling alone or with a companion
- Business seats can be converted to a lounge sofa or a 2 metre long full flat bed with adjustable softness
- 15.6” HD screen and high-quality noise-cancelling headphones
- International wines and Laurent Perrier Champagne accompany a four-course gastronomic meal created by a Belgian Michelin Star Chef (in 2019 it’s Chef Thierry Theys)
- Belgian walk-up bar located just behind the Business Class cabin, offering Belgian beers
- The new Premium Economy Class is completely separated from the other classes, creating a quiet and relaxed environment
- Premium seat with increased private space, comfortable cushioning and an expanded armrest
- 38” seat pitch (23% more legroom compared to Economy Class), a wider seat with a bigger headrest and a 40° seat recline
- 13.3” HD screen, one of the largest HD Premium Economy screens in Europe
- Large table includes AC & USB power plugs
- Upgraded culinary experience, water bottle and hot towel, and later during the flight ice cream as a movie snack
- Ergonomic headrest offering increased privacy and adjustable neck support
- Large seat recline, personal USB port and choice of entertainment and games
- 10.1’’ screen
- International meal with aperitif and complimentary beers, wines and spirits