Air Belgium has announced positive results for the year of 2019 along with its future destinations and new services for travelers, as well as the upcoming resumption of its regular flights to the French West Indies.
1. 2019 financial results and trends for 2020
2019 was marked by a major turnaround year with a well-deserved positive result. After a first complicated 2019 trimester, the actions undertaken as well as the reorientation and diversification of its activities, enabled the Company to end the year 2019 with a pre-tax profit of €5.6 M and a sales revenue of €62.5 M. This trend was confirmed in the first quarter of 2020 with a 50% increase in turnover during the same period of the preceding year.
Although Air Belgium is facing the worldwide COVID-19 crisis, its aircraft have never been grounded and have continued to operate commercial activities from Brussels and Liège Airports. To date Air Belgium employs more than 350 people, has not made any layoffs, and does not foresee any. The Company is making every effort possible to recover and to move forward.
Winter Season 2019-2020
The launch of new scheduled flights between Belgium and the French West Indies got off to a very encouraging start. This new route responded to a real market expectation. An historical increase of 80% on the market size to Martinique and Guadeloupe was therefore observed.
Belgian customers represent 65% of the Air Belgium passengers to the French West Indies followed by France and Luxemburg with 25%. Jointly, the Netherlands and Germany constitute the remaining 10%. This success confirms and validates the strategic choice of Brussels Charleroi Airport for this market.
Summer Season 2020
Continued flights for the summer season of 2020 was looking up until the COVID-19 crisis forced to suspend flights.
Nonetheless, reservations for summer are fruitful and since the end of the lockdown a very encouraging upturn of bookings for the Caribbean is observed. Half of these new bookings are for the period of July and August and the other half for the 2020 winter season. Demands remain strong and the number of potential travellers is very high.
Since a few weeks already, Air Belgium is definitely and resolutely ready to resume its regular flights to the French West Indies. The recent decisions of the French Authorities have unfortunately forced to postpone the first flight to July 15th, 2020. Air Belgium is feeling concerned by the situation and would like an immediate restart of its operations.
The airline had anticipated the resumption of its flights and put in place a series of health measures to protect its passengers and staff and to give everyone including the Authorities all guarantees of prevention. Onboard Service is also temporarily modified to ensure an optimal level of safety.
The summer schedule for flights to Guadeloupe and Martinique planned for July 15th, remains in line with the schedule operated before the COVID-19 crisis. Departures from Brussels Charleroi Airport are every Wednesday and Saturday and taking off at 10:45 AM local time.
2. Opening of new routes leading to new destinations
Winter Season 2020
French West Indies: Expansion continues
As of November 20th, 2020, Air Belgium will double its flights frequency. In regards to the market interest and positive results since the launch in December 2019, the airline completes and broadens its offer by operating direct flights to and from Fort-de-France and Pointe-à-Pitre. Flight schedules are as follows: direct flights to Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe, every Tuesday and Friday; direct flights to Fort-de-France in Martinique, every Wednesday and Saturday.
The signing of a commercial agreement with Air Caraïbes opens the doors of Saint-Lucia and Saint-Martin
Air Belgium and Air Caraïbes have signed a commercial agreement enabling Air Belgium to offer new destinations in the southern Caribbean with connections from Pointe-à-Pitre and Fort-de-France to the beautiful islands of Saint-Martin and Saint-Lucia.
This agreement also offers more flexibility to Air Belgium passengers who will now benefit from flights to Martinique and Guadeloupe four times a week.
New destinations in 2020 and 2021
In addition to the connections offered with Air Caraïbes to Saint Lucia and Saint Martin, the 2020 winter season will be marked by the launch of regular direct flights to a new destination.
As from mid-December, Air Belgium will fly twice a week to Mauritius. Bookings will be open very soon this summer. The launch of these new direct flights from Belgium with a three-class configuration are an alternative to the flights departing from Paris or stopover flights via the Middle East.
Scheduled to depart from Brussels National airport every Tuesday and Friday evening, these new flights will enable Belgian passengers to benefit from a significantly shorter flight journey, avoiding stopovers while enjoying the “Belgian Class” service of Air Belgium. Mauritius is a very popular destination for tourism in the Indian Ocean and attracts many Belgian tourists every year including several who possess a second residence on the island.
New horizons for 2021
Summer Season 2021
Air Belgium ambitions the launch of new routes in 2021 and will offer scheduled flights to:
The Dutch Antilles
The United States
Winter Season 2021
The airline is foreseeing its extension with a first destination on the African continent.
Air Belgium (2nd) aircraft photo gallery: