Wednesday, September 20, 2017 — Starting from 28 October, Brussels Airlines and Neckermann/Thomas Cook set sail for the sun together. That is excellent news for Belgian holidaymakers who, according to a recent study, want more flexibility and more certainty. Thanks to the cooperation, they will have the choice from more than 6,500 Brussels Airlines holiday flights to 51 sunny destinations – of which 26 destinations are new in the Brussels Airlines network – and thus more departure choice. Neckermann/Thomas Cook customers will benefit from extra services and extra comfort, like guaranteed seating together for families and the possibility to take 15% more baggage.

Together Neckermann/Thomas Cook and Brussels Airlines will offer more than 1 million seats to sun destinations. The partnership(1) significantly increases flight frequencies to existing destinations, e.g.:

  • From 28 October, Tenerife will be flown at least daily throughout the year compared to twice a week now
  • Flight frequencies to Gran Canaria will be doubled to 4 times a week in winter and increased to 6 times in summer.
  • The number of summer flights to Heraklion (Kreta) will be 9 times higher (17 weekly flights)
  • Brussels Airlines will fly 12 times a week to Mallorca in summer, compared to 3 times in 2017

Next summer season the partnership will further expand with more new Brussels Airlines destinations, including in Greece, Spain, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Cyprus.

“Thanks to our partnership with Thomas Cook Belgium, Brussels Airlines can include all popular holiday destinations in our offer. This is the largest expansions in the 15-year history of our airline. It allows us to offer our guests a large array of sun destinations, ranging from Cabo Verde to the Canary Islands, to Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Egypt. Next summer, we continue to expand that network even more. Our more than 3,500 colleagues look forward to welcoming the customers of Neckermann, Thomas Cook and Pegase on board.”

— Bernard Gustin, Brussels Airlines CEO

Holidaymaker of the future wants more flexibility and more certainty

Recent market research(2) has shown that the modern holidaymaker wants more certainty and more choice in destinations and departure dates. This will be the case with the new offer that the partnership brings. The increased number of flights allows for longer vacations, as well as short getaways and long weekends. The schedules of the flights are made in a way that most destinations can be flown to not only in the mornings but also later in the day and that for the return flights, the customer can choose to fly at noon or in the evening. Because Brussels Airlines operates scheduled flights, the timing of the flight is guaranteed as from reservation.

A big priority that came out of the study is that holidaymakers want to know in advance that they will sit together on the plane as a family. Next to that, they want the possibility to take more baggage. Thanks to the partnership with Brussels Airlines, this need is answered. The airline’s package guarantees that families sit together and with Brussels Airlines holidaymakers can take 15% more baggage (23kg+12kg hand baggage), compared to today’s 20kg checked baggage and 10kg hand baggage. Other comfort services for the Neckermann, Thomas Cook and Pegase customers are: the possibility to check in online and choose seats onboard, access to Brussels Airlines’ airport lounges (for Pegase customers), priority boarding for families with little children, healthy snacks from Foodmaker, Belgian chocolate and fries.

“With this partnership we answer to the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s customer: more flexibility and more certainty. Flexibility means more choice of destinations, departure days, free changes to flights and destinations until 4 weeks before departure, or even until 24 hours before departure with our Flex&Protect option. We can guarantee more certainty because with Brussels Airlines we fly direct, without stops, we guarantee departure times and we make sure family members sit together. What’s more is that our customers can count on the many airport colleagues and they can take much more baggage. We hereby respond to a trend that is emerging in the entire tourist industry: the customer wants to choose how he travels and demands excellent service. This we can offer now, together with Brussels Airlines, from a holiday dream to the service at destination together with our 2500 employees in the summer season”.

— Jan Dekeyser, Managing Director Thomas Cook Belgium

Transfer of Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium employees and aircraft

Brussels Airlines will operate many additional flights due to the partnership. That’s why the 160 flight crew (cockpit and cabin) of Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium will fly for Brussels Airlines as from end of October. Two of Thomas Cook Airlines’ Airbus A320 aircraft also join the Brussels Airlines fleet, which expands from 31 to 33 Airbus A320 family planes.