Brussels Airlines explains high cost to Freetown
The Head of Sales department at the Brussels Airlines in charge of BENELUX countries, Patrick Artiel has told Ambassador Ibrahim Sorie and staff of the Sierra Leone Embassy in Brussels that the low flow of passengers from Brussels to Freetown is the major factor for the high cost of plane fare. (Photo: Brussels Airlines Head of Sales, Patrick Artiel explaining issues on high fares to Ambassador Sorie and Embassy staff)
He added that the absence of renowned Tour Operators from Belgium to Sierra Leone as it used to be before the outbreak of the civil in 1991 is also another key factor.
“The outbreak of war in your country collapsed the entire infrastructure especially the hotels, but if we are able to convince any Tour Operator in Belgium to start operations to Sierra Leone as they do to other countries, the prices will surely drop. But as it stands at present we can do very little about it because of the limited number of passengers flying out from Brussels and we need to cover our operational cost”.
Mr. Artiel was summoned to the Embassy by the Ambassador to explain the persistent complaints from passengers flying with Brussels Airlines on the astronomical ticket fare to Freetown compared to neighbouring countries like Guinea, Liberia, Senegal, Liberia or The Gambia.
Ambassador Sorie informed the sales boss that he has been receiving so many complaints from Sierra Leoneans since his assumption of office last year July on this issue. “I have a duty here to address concerns affecting my fellow citizens in my areas of accreditation and see how best I could do to help resolve their concerns. Now that we are fighting assiduously to rebrand the image of our country and to move forward the President’s Agenda for Prosperity, we need to attract credible investors like Brussels Airlines to Sierra Leone and surely your airline has a very significant role to play in encouraging investors by dropping your fares. Your airline bags the credit as the first credible international airline to start operations in Sierra Leone even during the darkest days in our nation’s history when all others had abandoned us and we are gratified about that. However, we continue to implore you to consider dropping your fares for the benefit of both your airline and the country”, the Ambassador appealed.
Mr. Artiel assured that Brussels Airlines strongly believes in the future of Sierra Leone and will do its utmost to convince Tour Operators and other credible investors that Sierra Leone is now ripe for business.
Meanwhile, Mr. Artiel at the meeting announced a 15% (Fifteen percent) return air ticket discount exclusively for diplomats and staff working at an Embassy and other family members wishing to travel to their home countries on vacation with an additional 4kg baggage.
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