Demand For India-Belgium Direct Connectivity Very High: Brussels Airlines Chief Bernard Gustin
Says since Belgium is emerging as an important trade partner of India, there exists a high demand for direct air connectivity between the countries both for passenger and cargo
Photo Credit : Subhabrata Das
Since Belgium is emerging as an important trade partner of India, there exists a high demand for direct air connectivity between the countries both for passenger and cargo, says Bernard Gustin, chief executive officer, Brussels Airlines, which has re-launched its daily schedule between Brussels and Mumbai from March.
“India is an important economic partner for Belgium and has a large leisure potential at the same time. 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," said Gustin, who is in India along with a Belgian trade delegation almost a month after the relaunch of Brussels Airlines services in the country connecting Mumbai and Brussels directly.
"It (the service launch in India) is an important investment in our network expansion, but also in the economic relations between India and Belgium,” Gustin added.
On 30 March, Brussels Airlines was connected to Mumbai Chhatrapati Airport for the first time since the route was abandoned last year. The Belgian trade delegation, led by its secretary of state for foreign trade, is currently in India for a week, starting from Monday.
"Belgium and India are close economic partners. Our country is the second exporter of goods to India from European Union, just behind Germany, and for Indian companies, Belgium is the fourth largest EU export destination. I am convinced that the new direct Brussels Airlines flight between Mumbai and Brussels will make that exceptional bond and trade partnership even stronger,"
“This is why I am leading an economic mission to Mumbai to celebrate this new flight and to open up new opportunities for Belgian companies exporting to India,“ said Pieter De Crem, secretary of state for foreign trade.
According to the Belgian airline leader, there was a high demand from various industries, including pharmaceutical, diamond, maritime amongst others, and also from leisure travellers and cargo forwarders to reinstate a direct service. Brussels Airlines now offers a smooth link to the European Capital 5 times a week. The trade delegation, including Brussels Airline chief and Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist, arrived in Mumbai on an economic mission to underline the importance of the route and the relations between India and Belgium.
“Rapidly relaunching flights to the third largest intercontinental destination served from Brussels Airport was one of our priorities, because this route connects Belgium to a fast-developing region that is much coveted by our Belgian entrepreneurs and will benefit the whole of the Belgian economy. The route will also provide some hundred jobs at Brussels Airport, ” said Arnaud Feist, addressing the media in Mumbai on Monday.
The Mumbai-Brussels flight schedule allows seamless connections to many European, African and American destinations in the Brussels Airlines network, like London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Bristol, Geneva, Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Stockholm, Milan, Madrid and the intercontinental flights to New York, Toronto, Washington and 18 African destinations. By code sharing with Air India, Brussels Airlines makes it possible to travel from other Indian cities to the capital of Europe via Mumbai, said Gustin.