Sounding optimistic about the Indian market, Lufthansa group subsidiary Brussels Airlines today said it sees “strong” demand for its offering from here. Brussels Airlines, which is 100 per cent owned by the German airlines’ group Lufthansa, commenced its air services into India last month with a flight to Mumbai from Brussels. The airline currently operates five flight per week from Brussels airport to the Chhtrapati Shivaji International Airport here.
“The demand for direct flights for passengers as well as for cargo is high. With our new service, we offer the diamond and travel industry direct flights, which is an important investment in our network expansion, but also in the economic relations between India and Belgium,” Brussels Airlines Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Management Board Brussels Airlines, Bernard Gustin said during a media briefing.
He said that Brussels Airlines was very much “encouraged” by the strong presence of its parent Lufthansa in India, adding “Brussels is a very important catchment area and the capital city can’t be left unserved with India.”
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Naresh Goyal-owned Jet Airways had made Brussels as its hub for the European operations in December 2007, making it the first Indian carrier to have full-scale operation in the European Union capital, but replaced it with Dutch capital Amsterdam last year, citing commercial reasons.
There was a high demand from various industries including pharmaceutical, diamond, maritime, among others, as well as from leisure travelers to reinstate a direct service.
“Brussels Airlines now offers a smooth link to the European Capital five times times a week,” the airline said.
The Belgian Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Pieter De Crem, who was also present during the media briefing, said that the two countries (India and Belgium) are close economic partners and the new flight will make this partnership even stronger.
“Our country is the second EU exporter of goods to India, just behind Germany. For Indian companies, Belgium is the fourth export destination in the European Union. I am convinced that the new direct Brussels Airlines flight between Mumbai and Brussels will make that exceptional bond and trade partnership even stronger,” he said.