A delegation of Belgian companies led by Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Pieter De Crem, were in Mumbai recently on an economic mission to underline the importance of the newly-reinstated route between Mumbai and Brussels and the relations between India and Belgium. Bernard Gustin, CEO, Brussels Airlines, was also part of the delegation. On March 30, Belgian airline Brussels Airlines connected Mumbai Chhatrapati Airport to Brussels Airport five times a week with a direct flight for the first time since the route was abandoned last year. There was a high demand from various industries (pharmaceutical, diamond, maritime, industry, amongst others), from leisure travelers and cargo forwarders to reinstate a direct service.
Bernard Gustin, CEO, Brussels Airlines, says, “India is an important economic partner for Belgium and has a large leisure potential at the same time. The demand for direct flights for passengers as well as for cargo is high. With our new service, we offer the diamond- and travel industry direct flights, which is an important investment in our network expansion, but also in the economic relations between India and Belgium.”
The flight schedule consists of daytime flights to Mumbai on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The flights depart in the morning and arrive late in the evening in Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Flights leave Mumbai on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night and arrive in Brussels early the next morning. Speaking about how the new route can help trade, Pieter De Crem, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, says, “Belgium and India are close economic partners. Our country is the 2nd EU exporter of goods to India, just behind Germany. For Indian companies, Belgium is the fourth export destination in the European Union. I am convinced that the new direct Brussels Airlines flight between Mumbai and Brussels will make that exceptional bond and trade partnership even stronger. This is why I am leading an economic mission to Mumbai to celebrate this new flight and to open up new opportunities for Belgian companies exporting to India.”
Arnaud Feist, CEO, Brussels Airport, adds, “Rapidly rel-aunching flights to the third largest intercontinental destination served from Brussels Airport was one of our priorities, because this route connects Belgium to a fast-developing region that is much coveted by our Belgian entrepreneurs and will benefit the whole of the Belgian economy. The route will also provide some hundred jobs at Brussels Airport.”
The Mumbai-Brussels flight schedule allows connections to many European, African and American destinations in the Brussels Airlines network, like London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Bristol, Geneva, Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Stockholm, Milan, Madrid and the intercontinental flights to New York, Toronto, Washington and 18 African destinations. By code-sharing with Air India, Brussels Airlines makes it possible to travel from other Indian cities to the capital of Europe via Mumbai.