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New revolutionary partnership at Brussels International Airport

Luc Citrinot, eTN  Oct 10, 2011

PARIS, France (eTN) - It is far from being an insignificant evolution, even if few travelers know yet about the change. In just a few weeks, on October 30, rail services operator, Thalys, will offer the first ever link between Paris and Brussels International Airport. The connection will be available once a day in the morning. The direct train service from Paris Gare du Nord is the first step to a growing connecting network of Brussels Airport to European rail. “This is a major step for our airport, which has a catchment area of 8.4 million inhabitants within 60 minutes' drive and over 19.2 million inhabitants within 90 minutes' drive. With the opening of a new rail link from the airport to Amsterdam and Antwerp, we are likely to see a strengthening of Brussels positioning in Europe,” said Jan Van der Cruysse, spokesman of Brussels International Airport. They signed a partnership with two airlines, Belgian national carrier, Brussels Airlines, and Indian carrier, Jet Airways, to offer the first combined offer of rail and flight.

The service has been made possible thanks to a brand-new train station located at Brussels International Airport in Zaventem. In parallel to the new high-speed rail link to Paris, Thalys signed an agreement with Brussels Airlines and Indian carrier, Jet Airways. The agreement will provide travelers from Paris and its region with access to both Brussels Airlines’ extensive African network (20 destinations in connections), as well as the 6 daily flights from Jet Airways to both the USA, India, and beyond to Asia. An innovation is the possibility to book directly both the Thalys train and a flight through both airlines, as well as GDS.

“This is a major advancement in technology. Passengers traveling on both airlines and Thalys will be registered automatically on both modes of transportation. The train ride will be considered as a 'flight' in booking service. Once at the rail station, passengers will have their train ticket delivered when showing their e-booking,” indicated Franck Gervais, CEO of Thalys. Thalys tickets for air passengers will be bookable a year in advance. Mr. Gervais explained also that in case of train or aircraft delay, passengers using the rail/air combined ticket will automatically be rebooked and secured on the next available connection.

New revolutionary partnership at Brussels International Airport
Photo by Luc Citrinot

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