The freight arm of Germany’s flag carrier, Lufthansa Cargo, will start direct flights from Brussels to Chicago in April, with the intention of connecting pharmaceutical businesses. 

Twice a week the flight, originating at Lufthansa’s Frankfurt hub, will stop at Brussels International (BRU) to pick up cargo destined for Chicago O’Hare (ORD). The airline said it’s the first time its customers in Belgium could book freight directly to the US. 

Brussels is an air freight pharmaceutical gateway to Europe thanks to investment in pharma-specific warehouses and a “closed cold chain from warehouse to aircraft” according to Lufthansa Cargo. 

CEO Ashwin Bhat explained the new direct flight would add to the carrier’s time-critical offer to healthcare and pharma customers. 

“Brussels Airport is an important hub for the pharmaceutical business in particular. With our new connection, we can now offer an even more attractive network, and in particular a direct connection for particularly time-critical freight, which now includes up to 34 freighter connections from Europe to North America,” he said. 

Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist added: “With our shared focus on the reliable and efficient transport of pharmaceuticals and a shared ambition in terms of sustainability, as they are pioneering technologies such as sharkskin technology and invest in Sustainable Aviation Fuel, [Lufthansa Cargo] are an important asset to our cargo network,” says Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport.

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The connection is the 34th between Europe and the US for Lufthansa’s fleet of Boeing 777F aircraft.