From today, there will be direct flights again between Belgium and South Africa. That will be ensured by the airline Air Belgium, which will fly twice a week from Brussels Airport to Johannesburg and Cape Town. According to Air Belgium’s CEO, Niky Terzakis, these are the first direct flights between Belgium and South Africa in more than 30 years.
Currently, some 60 000 passengers a year leave Brussels for South Africa. Until now, they had to transfer, often to Frankfurt, Amsterdam, or Zurich. Air Belgium hopes to increase that number to 80 000 from 2024 thanks to the direct flights.
Thanks to a partnership with South African carrier Air Link, passengers can travel to 38 further destinations on the African continent: 16 in South Africa and 22 in 11 other African countries, including Congo (Lubumbashi), Tanzania (Dar Es-Salaam), Angola (Luanda), or Madagascar (Antananarivo).
To be clear, there are also direct or non-direct flights to several of these destinations from Brussels with other airlines.
Important trading partner
Air Belgium is also in talks with European airlines to use the South Africa-Belgium connection and allow transfers from Brussels in the first phase to northern Europe.
Air Belgium, which fleet consists of 9 aircraft and employs 500 people, will operate flights to and from South Africa using Airbus 1330neo aircraft. The cheapest ticket (round trip) costs 553 euros for Johannesburg and 722 euros for Cape Town.
Belgium is South Africa’s sixth largest trading partner. Almost 200 Belgian companies are based there.