In a previous article, Aviation24.be mentioned that Brussels Airlines was looking at the possibility to launch flights to New Delhi. In another interview to the Economic Times of India, CEO Bernard Gustin gave more information.
Brussels Airlines, which resumed operations to India from April with a non-stop flight between Brussels and Mumbai, is on “track” commercially and any further expansion will depend on the success of this route, says Gustin.
The carrier is not looking at profitability in the very first year of operations, though it had a strong start with the number of passengers flown exceeding the target set for the year, says Gustin.
“Mumbai is a strong start in terms of the number of passengers targeted initially. We’re expecting 50,000 passengers by December but we’ve already flown 60,000 though we still have one-and-a-half months to go. It shows the Mumbai-Brussels is a strong route. So, we are in line with our plans,” Gustin told PTI.
He said Brussels Airlines, which started services in April with five weekly flights to Mumbai increased the frequency to six from the winter schedule, adding, “it can be reinforced further.”
With an average load factor of 80 percent and 10,000 passengers more than initially targeted already flown now, he said: “commercially we are on track.”
“We need to be successful in Mumbai and I am convinced that it will be a success but it needs to be continuously commercial and financial success. And then only we can look at further expansion,” he said.
Gustin, however, said Delhi will be the next destination for them as and when they think of expansion here.
According to him, any call on adding flights to India will be taken in consultation with its parent Lufthansa Group, whose strong presence in the country is critical to its success, so that there is no cannibalisation.