TUI to fly to Lublin, Tangier and Enfidha from Antwerp
Airline company, TUI Fly, is going to expand its offer of flights significantly, especially the ones with departure from Deurne (Antwerp, Belgium), with direct flights twice a week to the Polish city of Lublin and direct flights to Tangier (Morocco) and Enfidha (Tunesia), as from Easter 2019.
35% more seats in Deurne
Capacity in Deurne will increase with 35% but also in other regional airports the airline is expanding its services: with an extra capacity of seats of 3% on flights with departure from Liège, 5% from Ostend and 10% from Charleroi (all in Belgium).
“The new flights departing from Deurne are not particularly meant for Belgians living in Antwerp but for the large group of people coming from another country”, says Piet Demeyere, spokesman for TUI Fly.
Flying to the sun
“Antwerp has 25.000 Polish inhabitants, most of them have their roots in Lublin. That’s why we chose for a flight to this destination twice a week, as from the Eastern holidays next year.”
“On request of the Moroccan community, we have a biweekly connection between Deurne and Tangier, staring from newt week. In May 2019 we will also launch a connection between Deurne and Enfidha, not only for Tunesians living in Antwerp but also for tourists from Antwerp flying to the sun.”
TUI Fly would like to serve the Jewish community as well, “but a connection between Deurne and Tel Aviv is impossible because the landing strip in Deurne is not long enough”, explains Demeyere.
In the meantime, members of the Polish community are happy with the new connections. About 70% of Polish people living in Antwerp are from Lublin and until now they had to fly to Gdansk or Cracow and then drive to Lublin. The new flight connection will save them a lot ot time.
TUI Fly is also bringing in an extra airplane in Deurne, a second Embraer aircraft will be added. “Best proof that the company believes in the future of the airport”, says Eddy Van de Voorde, transport economist of the university of Antwerp.
Private exploiter of the airport in Deurne, Egis, is still dragging along an historic loss of 492.000 euro, “but thanks to the confidence TUI Fly shows, it’s on its way to structural profit.”
On of that, the airport in Deurne has an extra plus, he knows. “People don’t have to wait so long before boarding and the airport has a pleasant atmosphere. What the airport of Deurne offers, is obviously different from Zaventem.”
However, it is too early for euphoria. Flights between Deurne and Barcelona, for instance, will be cancelled because of fierce competition. Since the bankruptcy of VLM Airlines there aren’t any flights between Deurne and London anymore either.
Egis is doing fine
There are flights to London Southend but then you still have a long journey ahead by train to London city, taking too much time for business people. “There’s still some work to be done for this connection”, Van de Voorde concludes. “Other than that, the airport is doing fine. If Egis would have believed in it, it would have thrown it up two years ago.”