Now that the vaccination campaigns are coming up to speed, and many people are looking forward to being able to go on holiday, Brussels Airport, Brussels Airlines and TUI fly Belgium are ready for the summer of restart and are looking forward to welcoming more passengers in the safest and most pleasant circumstances.
At a press conference held on 18 May at the Brussels Airport Sheraton, the CEOs of the three companies presented an overview of the measures to make travel possible and their offer for this summer.
After many difficult months of travel restrictions and even travel bans, Brussels Airport, and home carriers Brussels Airlines and TUI are ready for the summer season. Particular attention will be paid to safety, with sanitary measures at the airport and onboard the aircraft constantly strengthened and updated. Moreover, today, 95% of travellers leave Brussels Airport with a negative PCR test. As to the network served, Brussels Airlines will operate flights to 78 destinations and TUI to 75 destinations.
A new way of travel, but better and in safety. For Brussels Airport, the safety and the comfort of its passengers have always been a priority. In response to the current crisis, the airport has reiterated its ambition to be one of the best airports in Europe airport with the highest quality standards. With Brussels Airlines, TUI and all its partners, Brussels Airport has worked tirelessly to welcome a growing number of passengers eager to travel over the coming weeks and months and offer them a wide range of destinations.
The many sanitary measures that have been in place for over a year at the airport, such as cleaning, ventilation and social distancing, have been further reinforced. Particular attention has been paid to flow management, especially on busy days, with the creation of additional waiting areas on the curb outside the departure hall. In practice, tents will be installed in the next few days on the curb, to accommodate passengers when the check-in area becomes too crowded. This is to avoid the formation of queues and respect social distancing as well as possible.
More than ever, and awaiting the generalisation of vaccination, testing remains the key element for safe travel. 95% of passengers flying out of Brussels Airport have a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old, as required by the destination countries. This makes Brussels Airport one of the safest places to be. These tests can be performed at Brussels Airport itself, in one of two centres available to passengers.
“The fact that 95% of our departing passengers have been tested, confirms that Brussels Airport offers a healthy and safe environment for its passengers. It is important that travelling once again becomes a pleasurable experience for all”, explains Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport.
“We are delighted to be welcoming more passengers and offer them a wide range of destinations, but it is important that these trips remain pleasant, stress-free, safe and, if possible, without major constraints on return.
This is why, more than ever, we insist on the importance of European harmonization of travel conditions and restrictions, and the speedy introduction of the EU Covid-19 green certificate. We advocate strengthening passenger testing to alleviate or even lift quarantine measures.”
78 destinations for Brussels Airlines
While preparing for a busy and successful summer, Brussels Airlines too highlights the importance of safe and accessible travel.
“The weekly increasing booking figures show us very clearly that Belgians are eager to travel again. Brussels Airlines has developed a diverse holiday offer with both traditional and new destinations. Next to popular leisure destinations in Spain, Portugal and the Canary and Greek islands, we are also adding new destinations to the network in France, Morocco and Egypt. To ensure that all our passengers can plan their trip with peace of mind, we are extending the free rebooking policy. Brussels Airlines passengers can rebook their tickets to a new destination and/or new travel dates without paying a rebooking fee”, explains Peter Gerber, CEO and CCO of Brussels Airlines.
And while more and more countries are turning orange or green and the demand for travel is picking up, Gerber stresses the importance of harmonizing the rules. “It is important for so many to be able to enjoy a holiday again or to visit friends or relatives, making it all the more important to make travel accessible to everyone. Accepting quick tests as is already the case in some neighbouring countries would be a step in the right direction. Next to that we also look forward to including the digital green certificate into the customer journey.”
75 destinations for TUI fly
TUI fly, TUI Belgium’s airline and for years the well-known brand for leisure travel to sunny destinations, has had to limit its offer to a selection of European airports. The increasing number of zones in Europe that are changing from red to orange, gives the airline a positive outlook for this summer. For non-European destinations, we will have to wait and see what the summer and autumn will bring.
“At TUI, we will soon be facing a traditionally busy vacation season in the south”, says Gunther Hofman, Managing Director TUI fly Western Region. “While our offer this year again is only a fraction of our normal summer schedules, we have seen a positive shift over the past few weeks to European destinations that have lowered their code red alert status, with the popular Greek and Spanish islands leading the way. It is a priority for TUI that travellers feel safe and secure throughout their trip: during flights, transfers and at their hotel.
Travellers trust our know-how and, with all our partners, we make this promise a reality. We have also submitted a proposal to the government for a “travel corridor” to red zone holiday destinations, a “sun and beach” vacation in a safe environment from departure to return in Belgium. Controlled bubbles and a strict number of tests would make quarantine unnecessary. We hope for a positive outcome so that Belgians can once again enjoy what they have long been waiting for – a safe vacation to their favourite destination.”