Brussels Airlines is gearing up for a busy Easter vacation. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the focus is more than ever on leisure flights, as that segment rose sharply relative to business flights. The Belgian home carrier offers 80% of its 2019 leisure offer in Europe. The most popular destinations during the Easter holidays are located in the South of Europe. The top 5 is headed by Malaga, followed by Rome, Lisbon and Madrid. New to the top 5 this year is Copenhagen.
On the Brussels Airlines intercontinental network, the more touristic destinations are doing well as well as the popular Kinshasa in the VFR (visit friends and relatives) segment. At the top of touristic intercontinental destinations is New York, followed by Dakar (Senegal), Douala (Cameroon) and Entebbe (Uganda). The airline will offer 82% of its 2019 long-haul capacity during the upcoming holidays.
15 destinations return to the Brussels Airlines network as of March 27: Washington in the United States and a host of popular leisure destinations in Europe, including Athens, Naples, Florence, Catania, Palermo, Bari, Palma de Mallorca and Marrakesh in Northern Africa.
Brussels Airlines is still expecting a large number of last-minute reservations. As was the case for the carnival holidays, the airline estimates that two-thirds of passengers only book their trip in the last 6 weeks before departure. As a result, early deciders benefit from the cheapest fares relatively longer.
"In addition to the last-minute reservation trend that we have been noticing for two years, we also see that departing on Thursdays and returning on Mondays has become remarkably more popular. It seems that the “new way of working” as a result from the Pandemic has led to more flexibility for employees in managing their work-life balance”
- Tom Maes, Head of Commercial Steering at Brussels Airlines
All fares at Brussels Airlines can still be rebooked, although the airline notices that there is less demand for this.
Towards the summer school holidays, Brussels Airlines also expects a high demand for leisure flights. The airline announced earlier that it is adding two additional aircraft to its fleet to meet the high demand.