On Monday, Brussels Airlines resumed flights to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport after an absence of almost 15 months. One day later, the Belgian carrier will restart its service to Washington DC's Dulles International Airport. This comes despite restrictions in the United States banning tourist travel from Belgium. Despite this boundary, the airline claims ticket sales for its Washington D.C. service are selling well since the route is popular with business travelers and passengers transiting through Brussels for flights to Africa. However, ticket sales for New York are slower for the time being as the route is generally popular with tourists who are currently unable to travel.
The resumed route to New York will operate on Mondays, Fridays, and Sundays. The service will be operated by an Airbus A330-300 with a three-class configuration offering Business, Premium Economy, and Economy classes. Brussels Airlines flight SN502 will depart New York (JFK) at 6:35 PM and will arrive in Brussels (BRU) the following day at 8:10 AM. Beginning in July and lasting through the remainder of the summer flight schedule, the route will shift to four weekly flights. The resumed service out of Washington (IAD) will operate four times a week: on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. An Airbus A330-300 will also operate this route. Brussels Airlines flight SN515 will depart Washington at 6:30 PM and arrive in Brussels at 8:25 AM the following day. All times are local.
Current travel restrictions mean leisure travel between the United States and Belgium is still off the table. Brussels Airlines is hoping restrictions will be relaxed soon, as its New York route is particularly dependent on tourist travelers. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) listed Belgium as a Level 4 destination, the highest possible level, and travel is strongly discouraged.
During the pandemic, Brussels Airlines has primarily focused on essential flights, mainly from Africa, and grounded the remainder of its fleet. In February, the airlines served just 25 locations. Since then, the airline has re-opened its network with the aim of returning to 80 destinations by August. The airline also hopes to return its entire fleet to the skies by July.
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