Brussels Airlines has a strong connection to Africa. Next to its more than 60 flights per week to the African continent, Africa is also very close to the heart of its employees. Many of them organize and support humanitarian initiatives to help several African countries Brussels Airlines flies to. In order to bundle these initiatives, the airline founded b.foundation for Africa some years ago.
The biggest initiative of the foundation is Bike for Africa: every two years 70 employees and friends of Brussels Airlines travel to a different African country for a mountain bike tour to raise funds for a humanitarian organization. This experience gives them the opportunity to really connect to the country and its population in a way that is not possible otherwise. What’s more is they raise €200,000, which this year will go to Mercy Ships, a hospital ship that provides locals with medical care along the African West Coast.
This year, some of the mountain bikers came with the idea to auction a day in their professional lives at Brussels Airlines to raise funds for Bike for Africa. Captain and Flight Instructor Niki V. offers a 2-hour session in the flight simulator at CAE Academy, his wife and also captain Kirsten P. takes the highest bidder on the jumpseat in her cockpit. Flight attendants Uli V. and Steven F. take someone on one of their flights where they get to experience the work and life of a cabin crew member first hand. First Officer Hilde G. takes an auction winner on the tarmac at Brussels Airport for a visit to his or her favorite Belgian Icon, while engineer Walter takes the highest bidder for a tour through Brussels Airlines’ maintenance hangar. Last but not least, Ozark Henry, a Bike for Africa participant himself, gives away an intimate piano concert under the wings of an Airbus A330 in the Brussels Airlines hangar.
Bike for Africa takes place between 28 February and 7 March. In addition to the colleagues of Brussels Airlines, several managers of Belgian companies take part, including Geert Noels, Tom Vande Cruys, Bob Verbeeck, Jacques Vandermeiren, Bernard Marchand, Jean-Paul Philippot and the CEO of Brussels Airlines Bernard Gustin.
Bids for the Bike for Africa auction can be placed until 12 December at midnight on bfoundationforafrica.com/support.