From this Friday, October 15, this plane will fly to Mauritius twice a week, this time from Brussels Airport. Flights already full until the beginning of January, said Niky Terzakis, the CEO of the company, who sees development opportunities for Air Belgium in the months to come. During the summer, the company had been forced to suddenly suspend its flights to the West Indies due to the deterioration of the health situation on site, with a much lower vaccination rate than in mainland France, and the confinement that was there. been decreed.
After relaunching its flights several times since the start of the coronavirus crisis, before having to suspend them each time, the company no longer wishes to repeat this before the vaccination rate has exceeded 60% on the spot, explains Niky Terzakis. This is why, in view of the current favorable health trends, it will resume its flights from Charleroi to Guadeloupe on December 3 and to Martinique the next day.
On the other hand, no postponement is planned for the link between Brussels Airport and Mauritius, where the vaccination rate was first brought under control before the destination was reopened to tourists in early October. From this Friday, it will be provided twice a week, during night flights in both directions, aboard a brand new A330neo, a very latest generation aircraft, more efficient, less polluting and less noisy, which was presented Tuesday. A second aircraft of this model should join the Air Belgium fleet next month.
Reservations are very positive and flights to Mauritius are fully booked until January 9, said Niky Terzakis. The latter is therefore confident and “relatively calm” for the future. The financial situation of his company, very affected by the Covid crisis, is certainly not glorious (16 million euros of losses in 2020, Editor’s note) but it is improving month by month, explains- he. The company continues to hire, in particular many pilots, and now has around 400 employees. In collaboration with CMA CGM, it has also developed its freight activities, a niche that has been pushed by the crisis, with four cargo planes in its fleet.
Air Belgium should be profitable again in 2022, repeated the CEO. Other destinations should be added next year. A few months ago, the boss had mentioned the launch of four new lines: two in North America and two in Africa, including one in South Africa.
In any case, this will be done to long-haul destinations of interest and which are not currently provided from a Belgian airport. “Two million Belgian passengers per year thus leave from abroad to reach their final destination and seven out of 10 passengers departing from Belgium must transit elsewhere before arriving on site”, points out Niky Terzakis, who intends to collect them.
Partnerships are also being formed with other airlines to gradually transform the Belgian company into a network company, and no longer just a company providing flights from one point to another, without the possibility of to go beyond.