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Air Show at Antwerp Airport 1929  


of ANTWERP vzw


Antwerp Int'l Airport

Box 38

2100 Antwerpen


O.N. 0412.585.144

RPR Antwerpen

Wizz Air adds destinations to network
As from 19.12.21 Wizz Air will offer flights from Brussels South airport to Kiev. And on 01.06.22 the company will add a Brussels South to Lviv service to the network. Both routes are flown twice per week. Both destinations will be services with brand new Airbus A.321 aircraft. Wizz Air then offers 19 different destinations from Brussels South airport.
Styl Aviation refurbishes their workshop
Earlier this week a major refurbishment of the Styl Aviation nv workshop started at the north side of Antwerp Airport. The building will receive new walls and roof as well as new doors. This will make this workshop not only very eco-friendly, it will result in a more happy working environment for the company ‘s workforce.
New Wizz Air services from Brussels South airport
Starting on 4 December 2021 Wizz Air offers twice weekly services (on Tuesday and Saturday) from Brussels South airport to Suceava in Romania. As from 14 December 2021 the company also offers a twice weekly service between Brussels South and Debrecen (Hungary). This service will also be flown on Tuesday and Saturday.
Today Wizz Air offers flights to 15 destinations from Brussels South airport.
Ostend airport looses landmark
Early July the former DHL Boeing 727-223F – EC-IDQ (ex OO-DHT) was scrapped. The aircraft arrived at Oostende on 16 Oktober 2003 and was used by the VLOC as an instructional airframe.
On 1 July the aircraft was noted with the emergency exits and nose dome missing. On 10 July 2021 only the front section of the aircraft was still present.
(photo Bob Rongé)
Air Belgium – new destination – new aircraft
Air Belgium announced that the service to Mauritius will start on 15.10.21 and will be flown with the new Airbus A.300neo aircraft. Two of these aircraft will replace the older Airbus A.340’s that are operated at this moment.
Ryanair expands Brussels network
As from the next winter schedule Ryanair will offer a weekly Brussels to Agadir service? This is part of the new Ryanair hub at Agadir
Bye Bye Old Crow/Storyteller
Today, 29 June 2021, The very famous black and gold painted Boeing Stearman ‘Old Crow’ was dismantled in the R.A.R. bvba workshop at Antwerp airport. The aircraft will be put in a container for shipment from Antwerp harbour to Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A. The owner and storyteller Hans Nordsiek decided to move to the U.S.A. and he takes his beloved aircraft with him. This is definitely a loss for the European fly-in and airshow scene.
Luxaviation launches LXA-Flyer program
Today Luxaviation announced its LXA Flyer program. In this program the company will operate five brandnew Beech 250 turboprop aircraft for charter operations. Two aircraft are already operational and one of these is assigned to Luxaviation Belgium at Kortrijk/Wevelgem airport. Luxaviation intends to take a share in the market segment dominated by operators flying Pilatus PC.12 aircraft.
Significant rise in number of bookings

During the past weeks, Brussels Airlines has noted a significant rise in the number of bookings. Thanks to the ongoing vaccination, the European vaccination certificate and the ease on travel restrictions the numbers have risen by 30 to 50% on holiday destinations.
Exit Air Antwerp
Several Belgian news websites announced that Air Antwerp will go into liquidation. The company is unable to recover from the Covid-19 restrictions that resulted in almost one year without scheduled flights. The sole aircraft was already returned to the Swedish owner several weeks ago.
Two new routes
The winter season will see two new routes flown by Ryanair: Essaouira, Morocco (Thursday & Sunday) and Paphos, Cyprus (Tuesday & Sunday) will be added to the regular services. Both destinations will be flown by Boeing 737-800. Tickets are available on the Ryanair website.
Commercial partnership signed with Saudia Cargo

Liege Airport and Saudia Cargo signed a commercial partnership until 2023. The company will increase cargo flights to and from the airport which, in turn, will be connected to Saudia Cargo’s vast global network. Saudia Cargo is the air freight company of Saudi Arabian Airlines based in Jeddah with numerous operations in Europe. The company enjoys a solid reputation and is part of the world’s largest air cargo alliance, Skyteam cargo. Saudia Cargo is famous for its premium air cargo shipping services of all types of cargo such as pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, live animals and many more. To boost Cargo activities and operational flexibility, Saudia Cargo has chosen Liege Airport as an additional airport in Europe for its regular cargo operations as well as for Charter flights.
ASL Fly Executive offers Brussel to Ibiza flights
As from 30 June ASL Fly Executive offers a twice a week service from Brussel to Ibiza using their Embraer Emb.135 aircraft. This service will be flown on Wednesday and Saturday till 18 August 2021.
At the same time the company announced that they will also offer an Antwerp to Innsbruck service again during the coming winter. This service will be available from 15.01.2022 till 26.03.22.
Brussels Airlines and TUI ready for summer season

After many difficult months of travel restrictions and even travel bans, Brussels Airport, and home carriers Brussels Airlines and TUI are ready for the summer season. Particular attention will be paid to safety, with sanitary measures at the airport and on board the aircraft constantly strengthened and updated. Moreover, today, 95% of travellers leave Brussels Airport with a negative PCR test. As to the network served, Brussels Airlines will operate flights to 78 destinations and TUI to 75 destinations.
TUI sees improvement
TUI is very positive after the long Ascension weekend. During this week the company operated 87 flights with a 92% or more occupation rate. In addition to the Spanish destinations the company restarted flights to five Greek destinations
Last week the airline received 14% more bookings than during the same week in 2019 (pre-Covid-19)

Adapted Covid-19 rules for Belgian G.A.

In a note published on 7 May 2021 the Belgian C.A.A. adapted the Covid-19 rules for General Aviation flights in Belgium.
Flights with family members or very close contacts in one aircraft are possible again without any restriction.
Flights with ‘third parties’ are allowed when all on board wear mouth masks and handgels are used. The rules allow aeroclubs to offer introduction and initiation flights again.
Also balloon flights (with passengers) and paradrop activities can restart as from today.

Aerocircular declared bankrupt

Aerocircular, a company for dismantling aircraft, that started operations at Ostend Airport in 2019 with the help of an investment by the Flemish government has been declared bankrupt. 
70 milj. Loss for Brussels Airlines
Brussels Airlines reported as loss of 70 milj. Euro for the first quarter of 2021. The company counted 192.000 passengers during the first three months of 2021, a reduction with 88%. (during the first two months of 2020 there was no Covid-19 impact).
The company only flew 1.791 flights, 87% less than in 2020.
New hangar at Brasschaat
During the night of 18 July 2018 the hangar of the Aeroclub van Brasschaat was completely destroyed by fire.
Almost three years later the construction of a new hangar has started. We presume it will be finished in the coming weeks.
TUI to re-launch flights from Antwerp Airport

As the restriction on non-essential travel is coming to an end on April 19th, TUI is planning to start flying out of Antwerp as from April 20th.
The company will fly twice weekly to Malaga (TUE&SAT), Alicante(WAD&SUN), Ibiza(MON&FRI), Mallorca (THU&SUN) and Murcia (WED&SAT).
On June 18th, a new destination will be added : Avignon which will be flown on Monday and Friday.
NHV Group today announced a new contract with PSE Kinsale Energy Ltd in support of its decommissioning operations in the Celtic Sea.
The transfer flights towards the Stena Spey drilling rig, about 50 km off the south coast of Cork, are expected to start in April 2021 for a duration of six to eight months. NHV AS Denmark, NHV’s Danish branch, will be performing the contract. The agreement facilitates the provision of one dedicated Leonardo AW139 aircraft.
More relaxed rules for aircraft training
Under the current Covid-19 restrictions flight training was limited to student-pilots working towards a CPL/ATPL licence.
Under the revised rules implemented from 08 March 2021 flight-training for student-pilots working towards a PPL licence is possible again. But only for student-pilots who started their flight training before the start of the pandemic
If we understand the new regulations correct, flight training for new students is still prohibited.
NHV announced another new contract
NHV Group today announced a new contract with Allseas to provide helicopter services in support of the Energinet Europipe II Branch Pipeline project. The weekly H175 flights will depart from NHV’s base in Esbjerg.
All flights to Morocco stopped
Yesterday the Morocco Health Secretary decided to immediately stop all flights between Morocco and Belgium. The reason is, as always, the Covid 19 pandemic.
There will be no services between the two countries till, at least, 21 March.
Brussels Airlines preparing for summer
Brussels Airlines is slowly expanding its flight for holidaymakers
• 78 destinations for the summer time-table
• Focus on holiday destinations
• Start of the Brussel-Frankfurt service
• All tariffs remain flexible
As it is expected that demand for summer voyages will rise over the coming months, Brussels Airlines wants to offer its customers interesting holiday destinations.
JMB Aircraft nominated again !
Last year JMB Aircraft won the Fliegermagazine award for ‘Best 600 kg UL Ultralight Plane’. This year the company is nominated again, this time for ‘Best New Ultralight’.
The Fliegermagazine award is organised for the tenth time this year.
TUI Fly Boeing 737 Max returns to service
After almost 2 years on the ground, Boeing 737Max – OO-MAX - is the first TUI Fly aircraft that returned to service today. The aircraft left Brussels airport this morning for a flight to Alicante. During the previous days the company flew some ‘operational readiness flights’ in order to prepare the aircraft and crew for the return to service. These flights lasted about one hour including approaches on order to test the manual and automatic landings.
New air traffic controllers wanted

This year too skeyes is looking for new air traffic controllers. Candidates can register for the recruitment procedure from 15 February to 14 March 2021. It consists of five stages. Only those who pass each stage separately will move on to the next stage. Those who pass the entire process can start the training on 1 September 2021 to become an air traffic controller.
Candidates must hold a secondary education diploma, be less than 30 years old on the closing date for registration and be 18 years old on 1 September 2021.
Air Belgium Cargo flights
It seems Air Belgium will cooperate with the French CMA CGM Group to start up a cargo operation. CMA CGM acquired two Airbus A.330 freighter that will be operated by Air Belgium. Air Belgium itself will acquire an additional two aircraft. All aircraft are former Qatar Airways machines. So the company intends to start operations with four aircraft on routes from Europe to China.
Air Belgium moves into cargo business
Air Belgium just announced the intention to start full cargo operations from Liège/Bierset airport using Airbus A.330 aircraft. The company plans to start operations with two aircraft as early as next month.
It is not clear if their is any connection with the announcement from Fedex that it will downsize operations at Liège airport. Air Belgium CEO Terzakis was, years ago, instrumental in the start of TNT Airways operations at Liège airport. So, this link certainly exists !
Flyinggroup chooses handling by Jet Aviation
Flyinggroup recently signed an FBO agreement with Jet Aviation. Jet Aviation will support Flyinggroup aircraft with handling services on flights throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
(source : Business Air News)
Still restrictions on flight training
Flight training is allowed again as is training to obtain a car driving licence. For flight training some restrictions are still in use. The Belgian C.A.A. agreed to allow all training. But the Covid-19 expert group, who advise the Federal Government, suggested to limit flight training to student pilots working towards a Commercial Pilot Licence. So, all training flights for students hoping to obtain a PPL (Private Pilot Licence) are still prohibited at his moment.
Brussels Airlines cancels up to 900 flights !
During Februart and March Brussels Airlines will cancel up to 900 flights. The reason is simple, a lack of passengers.
Some destinations as Barcelona, Göteborg, Rome and Wien will not be serviced during these two months. Several other cities will be serviced with a reduced number of flights. During February the company will only fly 7% of the flights offered in the same month last year. For March 12% of the flights are still planned.
The company fears that possible government restrictions on non-essential travelling may have an additional impact.
All flights to African destinations remain on the planning.
N.H.V. moves to healty financial situation
The two previous years were difficult for Noordzee Helikopters Vlaanderen (N.H.V.) due to the reduced workload for the oil and gas business and the Covid-19 pandemic
The company recently finalised and agreement with major shareholder Ardian and several banks. The company will also continue with the optimalisation of its fleet.
A long standing dispute with N.H.V. founder E. Van Hal was also solved.
(source : De Tijd)
Boeing 737MAX operational again
After more than 22 months on the ground, the four Belgian registered Boeing 737MAX can return to service in the coming days. Normally the European Aviation Authority EASA will allow the return into service next week. The aircraft were grounded on 12 March 2019 as a result of a worldwide ban on this type after a second fatal crash.
Four TUI Belgium aircraft are since parked at Brussels Airport. We suppose that the aircraft will need some maintenance and checks before returning to service. The fact that these aircraft have been inactive for such a long period ‘disappeared’ in the massive turn-down as a result of Covid-19.
Sharp fall in passenger traffic at Antwerp Airport

During the pandemic year of 2020 only 88.036 passengers passed through Antwerp Airport. Compared to the 306.330 in 2019 this is a decrease of 71,3%.
There was also a decrease of 34% in businessflights.
Delta Air Lines starts full freighter service
Delta Air Lines will fly a full freighter regular service between Brussels airport and Detroit starting on 18 January. Initially there will be two weekly services operated with Airbus A.330 aircraft. From February three weekly flights are planned.
Cargo will included Covid-19 vaccines produced in Belgium as well as medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and US mail.
Air Antwerp postpones restart
Air Antwerp initially intended to restart the Antwerpen to London City service on 3 January 2021. The company now announced that they will only start flying from 1st March 2021. The actual Covid situation with a new lockdown in London and quarantine and PCR test for travelers makes it almost impossible to travel between these two destinations
The sole Air Antwerp Fokker 50 remains available for charter. 
Ultralight Concept changes name
Ultralight Concept, the company designed and builds the Stampe SV.4RS Ultralight recently changed their name. They now are Tauri Industries.
This change is almost certainly the result of the entry of a new shareholder who provided ‘fresh money’ to the company.
Around-the-World Spitfire Mk.IX visits Antwerp Airport
Today, 17 December, just before noon, Spitfire Mk.IX – G-IRTY – arrived at Antwerp Airport after a flight from Goodwood (UK).
This iconic machine was used last year for an around-the-world flight. It left Goodwood on 5 August 2019 an arrived back home on 5 December 2019 making 74 flights !
The aircraft was obtained from the Aviodome at Amsterdam by Historic Flying/Karel Bos several years ago and restored to flying condition by Historic Flying at Duxford. It flies all silver – an unusual scheme for a Spitfire !
From Antwerp airport the aircraft continues to Billund (Denmark)
(Photo's Bob Rongé)
Brussels Airport traffic November 2020
During November 2020 only 233.528 passengers passed through Brussels Airport (- 88.30%). 117.253 where departing (-87.90%) and 116.275 arriving (-88.70%)
Movements during November 2020 went down with 70.70% from 18.063 to only 5.299.
Full freighter cargo went up again with more than 23% tp 16.229 tons. Belly freight went down from 11.945 tons to 6.802 tons (-43.10%)
Based on the current Covid-19 situation in our country and the rest of the world these figures will not improve in the coming months. Recently United Airlines announced that it will stop the Brussel to Chicago service from Christmas Day, 25 December 2020 due to the low number of passengers!
SABCA's 100th anniversary
Today SABCA has its 100th anniversary. Due to corona the festivities have been postponed to next year.
This morning a press conference was given by Sabca CEO Dr. Ir Thibaud Jongen, VKI (von Karman Instituut) Manager Director Peter Grognard and the new  DGLV (Directoraat-Generaal Luchtvaart) Directeur-generaal Koen Milis.
Sabca CEO presented two new books on this occasion.
New home for NHV’s H155 fleet
NHV Group today announced the sale of its remaining H155 aircraft to HeliGlobe (Denmark). The brokerage company entered into the agreement on behalf of their client Air Greenland. The six aircraft will be delivered over a period of six months starting in the first quarter of next year. “This phasing-out project is part of NHV’s ongoing fleet rationalization strategy. Whilst they have always served us well as we have grown our business and developed new markets, the time is right to give them a new purpose. “The company has been actively managing its fleet by renewing older aircraft with newer technology aircraft, while also reducing the number of fleet types the company operates for oil and gas. Replacing older aircraft with newer technology aircraft provides greater efficiencies, more capabilities and improved reliability for clients, and is central to NHV’s long-term success,” added Thomas Hütsch, COO of the NHV Group. NHV Group currently operates a standardized fleet of sixty-four aircraft. The company has recently invested in highly advanced Airbus H175, H145, Leonardo AW169 and AW139 aircraft to support new contracts.
Sabca participates in new Dassault Falcon 6X bizjet
Last Tuesday Dassault Aviation rolled out the first Falcon 6X bizjet. Sabca participates in this program. The Brussels plant produces a 4.500 liter fueltank. The Lummen plant is responsible for the production of composite parts for the tail.
The Sabca division in Casablanca (Marocco) delivers parts for the aircraft fuselage.
First flight of the Falcon 6X is planned for 2021. First deliveries a year later.
Just over 233,000 pax at Brussels Airport in November
In November, 233,528 passengers passed through Brussels Airport, representing barely 12% year-on-year. The numerous travel restrictions continue to weaken a sector which is hoping to make a small recovery over the Christmas holidays. Air freight, meanwhile, is on the rise for the sixth month running. The airport is playing a major role in transporting COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.
Cargo volumes remain high at Oostende airport
During November Oostende airport handled 3.917 tonnes of air freight. An increase of 66.20% compared to the same month last year. The total number of freight handled this year rose with 140 % compared to 2019.
Only 1.854 passengers used Oostende airport during November, a decline with 93%. This number is unlikely to rise in the coming weeks as TUI Fly decided to temporarily suspend all operations at the regional airports until February 2021.
New ‘super’ hangar at Melsbroek AFB
In order to accommodate the new Airbus A.400M transport aircraft the Belgian Defence Cabinet opened a DBFM (Design, Build, Finance, Maintain) contract for the construction of a new hangar. This construction must accommodate three aircraft. The realisation of this hangar is planned for June 2021 and is realised by AG Real Estate, a company linked to AG insurance.
The hangar will be about 185 meters long and 75 meters width. This is about the size of two football fields. It will have an height of about 30 meters.
Defence will launch a second DBFM contract for the total renovation of the existing buildings and hangars at Melsbroek AFB.
Brussels Airport starts transport of Covid-19 vaccin
United Airlines started operating extra charter flights between Brussels Airport and Chicago transporting the Covid-19 vaccin produced by Pfizer in their Belgian facility. The F.A.A. gave an exemption to United Airlines to carry up to five times the volume of ‘dry ice’ than normally allowed. The volume of ice needed to transport the vaccin may be up to 7.5 tons per flight !
Brussels Airport is very well prepared for this type of transport. Brucargo has up to 30.000 m² of temperature controlled storage facilities and it has a lot of expertise in handling this type of cargo based on transport of the Ebola-vaccin in the past.
1.000.000 tonnes transported
Historic and symbolic day for Liege Airport: the milestone of 1 million tonnes transported was reached with the landing of a plane from the Russian company Airbridge Cargo chartered by the Chinese company HongYuan and handled by the French company WFS and the Belgian company Belgium Airport Services (BAS). This international logistics chain is a fine example of the development of Liege Airport.
Traffic continues to decline
The traffic figures for week 47 (16 – 23 November 2020) show a continuing decline - 5.2% down on the previous week and nearly 64% down on 2019.
source : eurocontrol
Lockheed P2V Neptune engine for Flying Group
On Saturday 21.11.20, a professional team was busy cleaning an impressive Wright R.3350 Cyclone Turbo Compound engine and propeller in front of a Flying Group hangar at Antwerp Airport. This 18 cylinder engine, delivering 2.500 hp, comes from a former Dutch Navy aircraft and was part of the Richard van As legacy. It was stored in his hangar at Midden Zeeland and auctioned some months ago.
We presume it will become an eye-catcher in the new, totally renovated, Flying Group headquarters at Antwerp Airport.
Brussels Airport traffic Oktober 2020
The airport counted 312.556 passengers. This number is 86.50% lower than the same month last year and also lower than the previous month September 2020, when 379.303 passengers used Brussels airport.
Movements are 66.50% down compared to last year (6.900 versus 20.622)
During Oktober total flown cargo was 49.709 tons or 17.10% more than in Oktober 2019. Full freighter cargo went up with 114.40% to 19.468 tons.
Cathay Pacific stops service to Brussels Airport
Cathay Pacific will not restart the service from Hong-Kong to Brussel. This service, flown with Airbus A.350 aircraft, was started early 2018 and stopped in March 2020 as a result of the lockdown in our country at that moment. The company now decided to cancel seven long-haul services including the flight to Brussels.
TUI Flights ceasing regional flights till 11/02/2021.

Due to the corona pandemic, TUI has decided to put all its flights from Antwerp, Ostend and Liège airport on hold till Februari 11th, 2021. Although these regional airports are an important part of the network, the company now needs to optimise its flights and therefor concentrates on Brussels and Charleroi.
Liege Airport received the ‘Best Cargo Hub of the Year’ Award
This year, the 36th Air Cargo News Awards was held in London and, exceptionally, was broadcast as a video conference on account of the Covid-19 crisis. On this occasion, 13 companies received a trophy corresponding to the category in which they were competing.
In the category ‘Best Cargo Hub of the Year’, Liege Airport was nominated alongside major participants: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Anchorage International Airport (USA), Brussels Airport Company and Hong Kong International Airport.
Despite the fame of these airports, the award was in fact given to Liege Airport! This prize is based on an inquiry during which several performance indicators are measured and compared. This international recognition is the result of a successful bold strategy focussed on cargo, diversification and innovation.
Flying Group – Destined to Delight
Today, Flying Group presented their renovated, energy-neutral, headquarters at Antwerp Airport to the media. Founder and president of the board Bernard Van Milders and CEO Johan Van Lokeren gave more info about the future of the group and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the company and its operations. They also launched the new website and adapted logo under the new baseline ‘Destined to Delight’!
More info in the next issue of our magazine Aeronews of Belgium

Turkish Sonaca 201 written off in an accident
Yesterday, 22 October, the Turkish flying school Ayjet lost one of their Sonaca 201 aircraft in an accident. TC-UUG, the former OO-XSH, was destroyed in a failed landing at Istanbul/Hezarfen airport. The sole occupant, a student-pilot, was injured but died the day after.

Brussels Airport traffic and passengers
During September 2020 the airport handled 379.303 passengers (-84.80%).
Movements went down with 66.80% (7.141 versus 21.533). But cargo flights rose with almost 40% (1.644 versus 1.175). The volume of cargo flown from or to Brussels airport went up from 39.394 tons to 46.832 tons. Full freighter volumes even rose with 88.80% (17.498 versus 9.270). The cargo transported as belly cargo on passenger flights went down with almost 50%.
Air Belgium stores two aircraft
Airbus A.340 - OO-ADB – left Charleroi/Brussels South airport for Tarbes (France) on 19.10.20. Together with OO-ABE it will be stored. Both airframes are looked after by TARMAC (Tarbes Advanced Recycling and Maintenance Aircraft Company) a company that specialises in long-term storage of airliners.
Sonaca 200 obtains SPHAIR certification

The Swiss Air Force has certified the Sonaca 200 Trainer Pro for the initial aptitude assessment programme called“SPHAIR”.
The objective of the SPHAIR programme is to discover and assess young talents for a career as a pilot in the Swiss Air Force or general aviation
To obtain SPHAIR certification, the Sonaca 200 has undergone a thorough assessment on the ground and in flight.
“The Sonaca 200 flies smoothly and precisely. The aircraft is very stable at all flight attitudes and in all speed ranges. It benefits from very good visibility and comfortable seats. The plane also has a significant endurance of nearly seven hours with two people on board” .SPHAIR.
Air Belgium postpones service to Mauritius
Initially Air Belgium intended to start a service from Charleroi/Brussels South airport to Mauritius on 15 December. Now the company announced that this service will start on 30 March 2021 at the earliest.
Motorfluggruppe Zurich buys Sonaca 200

Today Sonaca announced the sale of two Sonaca 200 aircraft to Motorfluggruppe Zurich (Aeroclub and Flying School)
"We have chosen the Sonaca 200 because it is a robust and easy to repair trainer aircraft that can be flown even by people of different sizes. With a payload of 270 kg and very good endurance, the Sonaca 200 is an excellent aircraft for basic training. It is also certified for night flights. At the same time, our MFGZ maintenance center will expand its service offering and offer maintenance for Sonaca 200 aircraft and Rotax engines" Andreas Carl, Head of Operations, Motorfluggruppe Zurich (MFGZ, Switzerland).
"We are very pleased that Motorfluggruppe Zurich has selected the Sonaca 200 after a rigorous and thorough comparative study. The Sonaca 200, a certified two-seater developed in close collaboration with the field, is an aircraft that is perfectly suited for ab-initio training, but also for navigation because of its payload and autonomy"
Pierre Van Wetter, Chief Commercial Officer Sonaca Aircraft.
Delivery of the two Sonaca 200 Trainer Pro aircraft is scheduled for July 2021.
Ukraine International Airlines delays restart
Last month Ukraine International Airlines announced the restart of the Kiev to Brussel service as from October 1st.
Now the company announced that this service will only restart on October 24th at the earliest. The very low number of tickets sold seems to be the reason.
Brussels Airport obtains the ‘Airport Health Accreditation’
Brussels Airport introduced several measures in order to reduce the health-risk of the airport passengers as much as possible.
The airport works within the recommendations issued by the ICAO and EASA/ECDC.
Brussels Airport got congratulations for their work regarding physical distancing, protection for the employees, cleaning and measures regarding ‘food & beverage’ as well as their communication.
This accreditation is valid during the coming 12 months
Traffic still far from full recovery
Eurocontrol still gives very interesting insights into traffic numbers over Belgium. Yesterday 29.09.20 462 flights (arrivals/departures) were counted, compared to 2.019 flights on the same day in 2019. (= - 56,9 %) Brussels airport counted 210 flights, 138 operated from Liège/Bierset and 66 from Charleroi. On 01.09.20 this numbers were 49,3 % less than on the same day the previous year. So, during September, the situation did not improve at all ! (source : Eurocontrol)
Air Antwerp Fokker 50 available for charter-flights
Recently Air Antwerp restarted the Antwerpen to London/City service. Due to the very low frequency of the flights offered (4 return-flights per week) there is room for more activity. Via broker Aviation Factory/Vizion Air the aircraft is now also available for charter flights.
Ukraine International Airlines returns to Brussel
As from 1 oktober, Ukraine International Airlines will resume the regular service connecting Kiev with Brussel. Three flights per week are offered (Monday, Wednesday and Friday)
ASL Group adds 8 new aircraft to its fleet
ASL recently announced that their biz jet fleet will grow with 8 additional aircraft. Most of them are already known to us, but there still are some other aircraft that will arrive in the near future. This includes a second Embraer Legacy 500 and a new Pilatus PC.12NG. The eight aircraft are 1 Falcon 7X and 1 Embraer Legacy 600 based at Eindhoven. 2 Embraer Legacy 500’s based at Kortrijk and Antwerpen. A single Cessna 680 based at Bucharest. 2 Cessna 510 Mustangs and a Pilatus PC.12NG all based at Antwerpen.
The ASL Group now has more than 40 aircraft in operation.
Slow recovery for Antwerp Airport
During August 2020 a total of 12.415 passengers passed though the airport. Still 62.8% less than in the same month last year. The impact of the Covid 19 pandemic in Spain is a negative factor for the airport. All TUI Fly flights to destinations in Spain are cancelled till 22 September 2020.
Movements went down with 22%. Also the number of business flights is lower than in the same month last year.
Brussels Airlines long-haul flights
Brussels Airlines plans to operate the following long-haul flights with their Airbus A.330 aircraft. This schedule should be correct for September and October 2020.
Brussels – Accra 2 weekly (eff 11SEP20)
Brussels – Banjul – Dakar – Brussels 1 weekly
Brussels – Bujumbura – Entebbe 1 weekly
Brussels – Cotonou – Abidjan – Brussels 2 weekly (3 weekly from 12SEP20)
Brussels – Dakar 3 weekly (2 weekly from 07SEP20)
Brussels – Douala – Yaounde 3 weekly
Brussels – Entebbe – Kigali 2 weekly
Brussels – Freetown – Dakar – Brussels 1 weekly (2 weekly from 13SEP20)
Brussels – Kinshasa 3 weekly (4 weekly from 30SEP20)
Brussels – Lome – Abidjan – Brussels 2 weekly
Brussels – Monrovia – Abidjan – Brussels 2 weekly
Brussels – New York JFK  3 weekly (eff 01OCT20)
(source: routesonline)
TUI flights from Antwerp during September
TUI plans the following routes from Antwerp during september 2020
Antwerp – Alicante 3 weekly
Antwerp – Corvera 2 weekly
Antwerp – Ibiza (eff 25SEP20) 2 weekly
Antwerp – Malaga 3 weekly
Antwerp – Palma Mallorca (eff 24SEP20) 2 weekly
Antwerp – Split (eff 25SEP20) 1 weekly
(source : routesonline)
Thai Airways delays restart at Brussels Airport
Initially Thai Airways intended to restart the Bangkok to Brussels service on 2th Oktober. The company now announced that all flights still 31 Oktober are cancelled.
Very slow recovery for Brussels Airport

During July 2020 the airport handled 525.022 passengers, still almost 81% less than the some month last year. Movements are still down with 63.70% (8.201 comparted to 22.599)
Only the cargo flown in and out Brussels Airport remains healthy with a 9,90% rise compared to July 2019
More United Airlines flights at Brussels airport
Last week United Airlines restarted flights from Brussels Airport to Chicago and New York/Newark. At this moment the company offers 4 flights to Chicago (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) and 3 to Newark (Wednesday, Friday and Sunday). All flights are flown with Boeing 787 aircraft.
60 redundancies at Brussels Airlines
60 people will lose their job at Brussels Airlines as a result of the restructuring announced some months ago. There will be no redundancies for pilots and flight attendants.
The number of people that lose their job is limited because almost 300 people choose to leave the company on a voluntary basis and another 150 go into (early) retirement. Finally 100 workers will continue to work on a part-time basis.
Number of flights rising very slowly
Eurocontrol gives very interesting insights into the airline traffic over Europe. When comparing Monday 06 July with Monday 20 July 2020 traffic went up with 6% in Belgium. On that day there were 511 arrivals and departures from Belgian airports.
When looking at general figures, flights over Europe are 63% down compared to July 2019. Airlines are 70% down. Biz-aviation is recovering a lot faster with only 13% less than a year ago. Bizjet traffic represents 14% of the total traffic. Cargo-flights are on the same level as a year ago.
(source : Eurocontrol)
U.S. immigration pre-clearance at Brussels Airport
Minister De Croo announced the signing of an agreement that will result in a U.S. immigration pre clearance procedure at Brussels Airport. This will ease entry into the U.S.A. considerably and will give Brussels Airport a major advantage. U.S. immigration officers will be based at Brussels Airport in order to perform their activities. Until now this procedure only exist if you fly from Ireland (Dublin or Shannon) to the U.S.A.
NHV’s H175 fleet exceeds 40,000 flight hours
NHV Group is pleased to announce that its H175 fleet surpassed its first 40,000 flight hours. This significant milestone proves this super-medium-sized rotorcraft’s capabilities and reliability in highly demanding operations, especially the transportation of personnel and supplies to offshore oil and gas platforms. At present the worldwide H175 fleet has accumulated over 66,000 flight hours, of which NHV thus accounted for more than 60%. The 40,000 hours have been accumulated by NHV’s fleet of thirteen H175s. NHV was the global launching customer fort he H175. The first two aircraft entered into service in December 2014. Initially operated from Den Helder, NHV gradually expanded its H175 operations to other bases in the North Sea and West Africa, where the aircraft has accumulated experience and gained maturity.
(photo Bob Rongé)
Air Belgium restarts scheduled flights today
Today, 15 July, Air Belgium flight KF5961 will depart to Fort-de-France and Pointe-à-Pitre from Charleroi/Brussels South airport
Adult passengers and children older than 11 years must precent a PCR test carried out within 72 hours before departure. If not they will be denied boarding
Liège Airport will resume passenger flights
Liège Airport remained very active during the whole Cobid 19 pandemic with a lot of freight traffic.
But passenger traffic came to a complete standstill since 20 March 2020. Now the airport announced that they intend to resume passenger flights on Friday 17 July. TUI will restart its operations and offers 11 destinations in 4 countries (Spain, Turley, Greece and Morocco)
(source Liège Airport)
Brussels Airlines will operate service to Windhoek (Namibia)
Lufthansa Group intends to launch a holiday service from Frankfurt to Windhoek from the end of September 2020. Lufthansa will increasingly focus on tourist routes and, therefore, it has now founded a new company under the name “Ocean” that is to be used for precisely those holiday flights, by merging subsidiaries in order to save costs. However, Ocean is not a new subsidiary airline, but only a flight operation with an “Air Operator Certificate” (AOC) licence. You will never see any aircraft in a new “Ocean” livery in the future. This service will be operated by Brussels Airlines on behalf of Eurowings using an airbus A.330-300. At this moment there is still a ban on flights into Namibia imposed by the local government.
TUI restarts at Antwerp Airport
Today TUI restarted its flights from Antwerp Airport after the abrupt stop due to the Covid 19 pandemic in mid March. Today Embraer Emb.190 OO-JEM performed the first service to Split as ‘Beauty27G’.

(photo : Hugo De Backer)
Role of Alibaba and Liege Airport in Covid-19 Relief Effort Recognized by King of Belgium

His Majesty King Philippe of the Belgians paid a visit to Liege
Airport to thank the staff and key partners for their efforts in enabling the efficient distribution of medical supplies to Belgium and across Europe during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the vital role of logistics to support Belgium and Europe’s economic recovery. During his visit, King Philippe participated in a roundtable discussion with representatives of key partners of Liege Airport, including Alibaba Group. The King expressed warm appreciation for the efficient distribution and logistics capabilities of Alibaba’s eWTP Hub and Liege Airport.
Ryanair intends to fire Belgian staff
Lowcost carrier Ryanair intends to fire 44 pilots and 40 cabin crew, all Belgian based personnel. This is, almost certainly, a result of the lower number of flights the company operates from Brussels and Charleroi/Brussels South airports.
Thai Airways only returns early September
Initially Thai Airways announced a restart of the scheduled flights into Brussels for 2th August 2020. Now the company postponed this untill 1th September. At that moment they will offer 3 flights per week (Tuesday, Friday and Sunday)
High cargo volume continues at Ostend Airport
Passenger numbers were still 96.10% down compared to June 2019. Only 1.871 passengers passed throught the gates.
For the second quarter 2.791 passengers where counted compared to 192.419 last year (minus 97.80%)
The cargo volume rose to a record 5.666 tonnes, an increase with more than 165% compared to June 2019. During the first quarter of 2020 the airport handled 15.065 tonnes (+ 178%). This number is already higher than the total volume handled during 2019.
Antwerp Airport ready for restart
During June 2020 only 2.894 passengers used Antwerp Airport. 91% less than a year ago.
Business aviation already showed more activity than during the previous months. TUI Fly will restart its activities on 10 July with flights to Split and Ibiza.
A wide range of summer destinations from Brussels Airport

Number of passengers to exceed the 10,000 mark on the July 1st.
Tomorrow will see the official start of the summer holidays. Since the restart of non-essential travels within Europe on the 15th of June and as more countries reopened their borders, Brussels Airport has been adding more destinations to its network every week. At the start of the holidays, more than 100, mainly European, destinations will be served. By the beginning of August, this offer shall have increased to 140 destinations. France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy are some of the flagship countries that look forward to welcoming holidaymakers.
Airbus A.320 simulator at Antwerp Airport
LVL320 Crew training is a subsidiary of Skywings Flight Training, located at Antwerp airport. LVL320 focuses on crew training solutions such as MCC and APS MCC for flight schools and on skill care and screening preparation for qualified Airbus pilots. All the training will be provided on their brand-new static Airbus A320 type-specific MCC simulator.
LVL320 hopes to attract flight schools from all over Europe as a partner for the multi-crew training part of a professional pilot training.
Students are coached by Airbus rated and qualified instructors.
Haiti Mission
Last Sunday, 21st June 2020, a FlyingGroup Falcon 900 landed safely at Cologne Bonn airport after a flight from Haiti.
On board were 10 orphaned children from Haiti that will live with their adoptive parents in Europe.
‘Help A Child’, the adoption agency that chartered the flight ran into numerous delays and disappointments. But FlyingGroup accepted this complex mission and finalized it with great success. For this flight the aircraft was crewed by three pilots and a flight attendant.
French company Alyzia becomes 2nd ground-handler at Brussels Airport
Alyzia will offer Ground handling services at Brussels airport along Aviapartner.
The French company will receive a temporary licence for 6 months and intend to start on1th July depending on the authorisiation from the Belgian aviation authorities.
The company plans to hire former employees from Swissport.
At this moment the company is active on 8 French airports. This is their first activity outside France.
Skydivers take a fresh start
As from today skydiving is allowed again under the current Covid 19 rules. Jumpers and pilot must wear a mouth-mask (or closed helmet) during the complete flight and jump. Up to 20 people are allowed per flight. The aircraft must be desinfected after each drop. The cockpit of the aircraft when there is a change of pilot.
Cargo is booming at Ostend Airport
During May 2020 the cargo transported via Ostend Airport rose with 168,60% (from 1.439 ton in May 2019 to 3.866 ton now)
Only 635 passengers passed through the airport (-98.50%) and 1.101 movements were counted (-59.70%)
Wizz Air starts new service from Brussels/Charleroi-South

Wizz Air announced today a 14th destination from Charleroi Airport. As from 29 October 2020 the company will fly to Bacau in Romania.
The other destinations offered from Charleroi are Boedapest, Boekarest, Chisinau, Cluj-Napoca, Craiova, Iasi, Ljubljana, Skopje, Sofia, Timisoara, Tirana, Warschau and Vienna
Brussels Airport traffic and passengers
During May 2020 the airport handled only 10.938 passengers (- 99% !!). Flights when down from 21.055 to 2.855 (- 86.40%) The cargo transported on full-freighter aircraft rose with 61.50% although the total volume still went down with 8.90 %. This illustrates the importance of the scheduled passenger flights for the transport of cargo.
Brussels Airlines restarts its operations
On Monday 15 june Brussels Airlines offers flights to nine destinations (Madrid, Rome, Berlin, Marseille, Boedapest, Copenhagen, Lissabon, Praag and Vienna).
This is a very limited offer since the company was forced to stop all operations 12 weeks ago. The plan is to offer 59 destinations during the coming months. (see news item dd 26.05.20)
Air Transat will not return to Brussels Airport
Canadian low cost carrier Air Transat announced that it will not restart the service from Montreal to Brussel this summer. The company will restart its operations on 23th July but decided not to fly to 13 European destinations (including Brussel) this summer.
A return of the company in 2021 is possible but not confirmed at this moment.
Rules for VFR flights in Belgium are adapted

Flights are now possible with up to 10 people (from the same ‘bubble’). Landing away from the homebase is possible again but PPR from the airfield involved is mandatory. Flights abroad are still not allowed as the Belgian borders are still closed till 15th June 2020.
Balloon flights become possible again but under the strict rules. Passengers need to be part of the same ‘bubble’. If not, a plexi screen has to be installed between the different groups. All passengers have to wear mouth masks and gloves. They also have to confirm, before the flight, that they do not have any Covid 19 symptoms. The pilot has to wear a mouth mask and a face-shield.
Para-jumping is still prohibited under the current rules.
Philippe Bodson (ASL Group) launches Flying Executive concept
Regular flights to Ibiza with a very limited number of passengers (30 to 42). Departing from the G.A. terminal at Brussels Airport, more legroom and 25 kg luggage.
Bodson intends to start with a weekly service starting on 4th July using the Embraer aircraft operated by the ASL Group as an answer to all the questions and concerns that a lot of potential travelers have as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. The price for a one-way ticket is around 495 euro. But…. you will have your one seat our you will be sitting along a family-member or friend with good food and a glas of champagne. A return to air travel in the late forties, early fifties.
TUI intends to fly to 72 destinations again !

TUI announced that it will restart its operations from Brussels Airport on 20 June. First destination will be Dubrovnik followed by Faro one day later.
Operations from Antwerp Airport are planned to restart on 10 July. The company plans to offer flights from Belgian airports to 72 different destinations from 17 July 2020!
More than 100 destinations served from Brussels Airport

Starting 15 June, Brussels Airport will considerably increase its passenger flights for all travel in the Schengen Area. The flight offer will increase progressively to exceed one hundred destinations in July, thus restoring the connectivity with Europe in a first stage and with part of the rest of the world in a later stage. Thanks to the collaboration of the airlines and all of Brussels Airport’s other partners, passengers will again enjoy the pleasure of travelling without stress due to the implementation of numerous precautionary measures.
Good news! The Belgians and even most of the Europeans will again be allowed to travel abroad. As the National Security Council announced on the 3rd of June last, non-essential travel within Europe and the UK is again allowed, with a few exceptions including Greece and Spain that will refuse travellers from Belgium until the beginning of July. For Brussels Airport and its partners this means that passenger activity can resume as of 15 June and, more importantly, that travel to numerous European destinations is again possible.
Wizz Air launches new destination
Wizz Air is adding Tirana to its growing network out of Brussels South Charleroi Airport. They are to open a new base at Tirana/Nënë Tereza and will base three Airbus A.320 there. Tickets are available on www.wizzair.com
Cargo is big-business
Flying cargo, even with passenger aircraft, is a profitable business at this moment.
Brussels Airlines operates two Airbus A.330-300 aircraft on routes to China and several African destinations including Conakry (Guinee) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast)
Air Belgium has 3 aircraft flying between Phnom Penh (Cambodja) and Brussels as well as a route from Jinan (China) to Liège.
And the two Boeing 787’s operated by Tui Fly are flying from Hannover to China and Korea for several weeks already.
Brussels Airlines offers cargo-only flights
Today Brussels Airlines will fly a cargo only flight from Brussels to Qingdao (China). A total of 3 flights are planned using an Airbus A.330-300. The company already flew some cargo flights to African destination recently.
Austrian Airlines restarts service to Brussel.
Austrian Airlines will restart its service to Brussel on 15 June 2020. The company will use their smallest aircraft (DHC 8 Dash 8 and Embraer 195) at the start. When the number of passengers rises again, the switch to the Airbus A.320 will be made.
Brussels Airlines restarts its operations with a network of 59 destinations from June until August
Brussels Airlines plans to restart its commercial flights from Brussels Airport on 15 June after a 12 weeks interruption. The company offers an adapted and downsidze summer schedule wich will consist about 30% of the planned summer schedule in Europe and 40% of the long-haul program.
The company plans to offer flights to 59 destinations in 33 countries by the end of August.
In order to prepare for the planned restart, Brussels Airlines puts in place measures to protect its customers and staff during the travel journey, such as additional disinfection of the aircraft and the use of mouth masks. Several other measures are being evaluated together with the authorities and aviation experts.
The Aviation Factory and North Sea Aviation Center join forces at Oostende.
The Aviation Factory opened an office in the new business aviation terminal operated by NSAC (North Sea Aviation Center) at Ostend Airport. Both companies will join forces.
During the last 8 months of 2019 NSAC handled around 1.800 bizjets flights.
15% of the Aviation Factory’s total sales comes from the activities at Ostend Airport.


ASL Group introduces new logo and corporate identity
Private jet company ASL group recently introduced a new logo for the entire group.
“It's not just a logo. It's a brand” says CEO Philippe Bodson. “And we wanted it to communicate a very clear and strong message to the world, especially in these very challenging Covid-times. Not only does this new logo tells who we are, it also tells what we do, how we do it and why we do it. It was a very difficult and very long project. Our previous logo had a very strong visual identity too, but it was ageing, and it wasn't really in line with our vision anymore. ASL Group is a young, dynamic, efficient, fresh, and forward-looking company. We aim for the best services and the best customer experience, and we always aim for higher. This logo represents this vision. A very strong vision and a promise for a brighter future for all the companies that compose our Group today".

Belgian Air Force defends Benelux airspace
As from today the Belgian Air Force take the responsability to guard the Benelux airspace till mid September 2020. As a result Belgian F.16 fighters based at Florennes AFB are on 24/24 standby and can react within minutes should an unidentied aircraft show intentions to enter the Benelux airspace. Before today the Dutch Air Force took this responsability.

Back to business...

After more than 7 weeks of hibernation, Brussels Airlines has announced that they will resume flights with a reduced network offer as from June 15th. Which destination will be serviced will be communicated as soon as possible.
Brussels Airport traffic April 2020

During the previous month, April 2020, the number of passengers declined with 99.30%. Only 17.042 passengers passed through the airport. (6.672 departing and 10.370 arriving) A number that the airport handles in less than 1 day under normal conditions.
The number of flight dropped with 88% till only 2.360 movements (including 1.466 cargo flights)
Corona exit for the Belgian General Aviation

Until today all VFR activities are prohibited with the exception of a monthly maintenance flight for each aircraft and some special activities (pipeline control, medevac, …)
From Monday 11 May local VFR flights are allowed when flown solo or when the passengers live under the same roof as the pilot.
Commercial activities, VFR as well as IFR, are possible again. Flight-training organisations have to follow the same strict rules as driving schools. But flight training (theoretical as well as practical) is possible again.

Corona impact
The Corona crisis has a positive impact on the cargo transported via Ostend airport.
During the first 4 months of 2020 the cargo volume rose by 53% to almost 10.000 tons. During April 2020 5.284 tons were handled (+ 186%).
More full freighter aircraft are active worldwide due to the stop of almost all intercontinental passenger flights (and the cargo space available on these aircraft)

Mouth masks at Brussels airport

Transport Minister Bellot has confirmed that the airport is considered a public space, where the wearing of a face mask is strongly recommended but not mandatory. Which is logical, considering the low number of passengers that currently pass through the airport. Brussels Airport considers that the wearing of a face mask can be made mandatory by the competent authorities prior to the increase in passenger traffic in the weeks to come. As of 18 May and during the restart of the airport, Brussels Airport will distribute face masks to all passengers and staff.
New Wizz Air service from Brussels South/Charleroi airport
Wizz Air is one of the first European companies to restart operations. Last Friday the company offers the Wien to Eindhoven service again.
Today the company announced that they will offer a new Brussels South to Wien service starting on 1 July 2020. The service will be flown 5 times per week. Wizz Air already operates from Brussels South but. Wien is the first non East-European destination in their schedule.
CityJet closed Brussels hub
The Irish company CityJet announced the decision to close their Brussels hub. CityJet operated several Bombardier CRJ’s for Brussels Airlines. This contract was stopped several weeks ago at the start of the Covid 19 crisis.
90 people lose their job as a result of this decision. Cityjet offered AMCI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, Insurance) operations to other airlines but stopped all its activities due to severe financial problems. (source : De Tijd)
In case you ran out of reading material this is an opportunity not to miss...

First Dassault Falcon 7X delivered to the Belgian Air Force
On Wednesday 29 April 2020 the Belgian Air Force took delivery of their first Falcon 7X bizjet. This aircraft gives the Air Force transatlantic capacity. The aircraft, serial nr 4, is registered on the civil register as OO-LUM. It was flown from Kortrijk to Melsbroek via touch and go’s at Kleine Brogel AFB and Beauvechain AFB. It has been in a hangar with Luxaviation/Abelag Aviation at Kortrijk Airport for several weeks where it was prepared for service.
Belgian VFR-airspace remains closed
The Belgian C.A.A. extended the closure of the Belgian airspace till 18 May 2020 included. All the rules previously communicated remain in force. As a result almost all General Aviation aircraft remain grounded.
Some pîlots become a little frustated as their Dutch colleagues are still able to make VFR flights. This resulted in quite some activity in Dutch airspace during the good weather period last week.
Execujet Brussels best Belgian FBO
In the FBO (fixed-base operator) survey 2020 organised by Air International News (AIN) Execujet Brussels (formally known as Abelag Aviation) takes the 23th place in the ‘rest of the world’ section (excluding the U.S.A.)
Execujet Brussel is the only Belgian FBO in the list and received a 4.13 score. (max is 5.00) This is 0.01 up compared to the previous survey.
Top European FBO is Farnborough Airport with a 4.67 score. (source AIN April 2020)
Lufthansa confirms commitment towards Brussels Airlines
In a letter to the Belgian government Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr confirms the commitment of the German group towards Brussels Airlines. At this moment Brussels Airlines talks with the Belgian Government about financial support for the company. They need a financial injection of around 290 milj. Euro in order to survive the current Covid 19 crisis. In his letter the Lufthansa CEO stresses the importance of the Lufthansa Group (including Austrian, Eurowings and Brussels Airlines) in order to remain competitive on the market. Support from the Belgian government will only be used to support Brussels Airlines. In the past there has been some doubts about the intentions of the German management with the Belgian national airline. The Lufthansa Group is, as ‘Star Alliance’ member, responsible for about 50% of the traffic at Brussels Airport. Other major foreign carriers, also members of ‘Star Alliance’, may leave Brussels Airport when Lufthansa Group is no longer involved in the Brussels Airlines operations.
Brussels Airport welcomes Sun-Air in September
Although we face difficult and uncertain times for aviation, and passenger traffic is almost at a standstill due to the corona crisis, Brussels Airport is also looking to the future.
Brussels Airport is pleased to welcome the Danish airline Sun-Air of Scandinavia, which flies in the colours of British Airways, from September onwards. Sun-Air will start on 7 September with 10 flights a week between Billund and Brussels. This will guarantee the connection between Brussels Airport and the Danish LEGO-city. These flights will be operated with a Dornier 328Jet and you will find them under a British Airways number.

Aviapartner becomes Belgian again
The chairman of the Aviapartner board, together with some other managers, bought the company-shares from the American Investment fund H.I.G. Capital. As a result of this transaction the company becomes Belgian again. The new owners did not wish to comment on this transaction that was finalized at a moment that the aviation industrie is in the worst crisis in history.
This may be the moment for the company to change name again and return to Belgavia ?
(source : l’Echo)

Oldtimer Fly-in Schaffen/Diest cancelled
Belgium’s most important fly-in, the Schaffen Diest Oldtimer Fly-in, is cancelled due to the Covid 19 crisis and the ban on major events issued by the federal government till the end of August 2020. The next edition is planned for 13 – 15 August 2021. The Experimental Days will also skip their 2020 edition. They plan the next event from 3 till 5 July 2021 at Leopoldsburg/Sanicole airfield.
Air Antwerp postpones restart
Air Antwerp announced initially their intention to restart the Antwerp to London/City service on 4 May. Now they announced the intention not to fly till 1 June. Initially two roundtrips per day will be scheduled. CityJet, the major shareholder of Air Antwerp, received protection against its creditors last Friday. The company is in serious financial troubles. At this moment it is not clear if this will have any impact on Air Antwerp.
Bizjets flights come to a standstill
Worldwide business jet flights dipped by as much as 79 percent in the first two weeks of April compared tot he same period last year. Fractional ownership felt more steeply than aircraft management and charter operations. In the first half of April just under 1.000 bizjets were recorded operational worldwide with more than 4.000 in the same period of 2019. It seems some operators are offering a 10% discount on flights for smaller bizjets up to 44% for the bigger aircraft !! (source Ainonline.com)
Changes in the SN Airholding board
Jan Smets, former Governor of the the Belgian National Bank, became co-president of the SN Airholding board. He replaces Etienne Davignon. Davignon kept this position for 18 years but decided to step down as co-president. He remains a member of the board. Former Brussels Airlines CEO Christina Foerster returns as member of the SN Airholding
60% fewer passengers and 14.6% less cargo
Brussels Airport remains open to connect Belgium to the rest of the world under the safest conditions.
In March, fewer than 800,000 passengers travelled via Brussels Airport. A considerable drop compared to nearly 2 million passengers in March 2019. The corona virus caused numbers to drop week after week. The last week of March, passenger figures showed a decline of 95%. A drop in demand was also noticeable in cargo transport, which was 14.6% lower than the same month last year. Cargo is crucial in these times for stocking our country, and thanks to air cargo, essential products such as pharmaceuticals and medical products can be supplied quickly. The total number of flights fell by 40%.
First Melsbroek based Airbus A.400M flies!
Yesterday, 13th April, the first (and only) Airbus A.400M ordered by the Luxembourg Armed Forces made its first flight from the Airbus production facility at Sevilla (Spain) This airframe (c/n 104) will be operated in a joint effort by the Belgian Air Force and the Luxembourg Armed Forces. It will be based at Melsbroek AFB. when delivered in the 2e quarter of this year.

Belgian airspace remains closed for VFR-flight – latest news
The Belgian C.A.A. adapted the regulations regarding the closure of the Belgian airspace for VFR and training flights that is in force since 18 March 2020. Last Friday they published a note that allows a monthly 1-hour local flight in order to prevent extra wear or damage to aircraft engines as a result of the inactivity of the aircraft involved. As a result, several light aircraft were airborne on Saturday and others will certainly follow.
URSEL AVIA 2020 cancelled

This event, planned for 27 and 28 June 2020, is the next victim of Covid 19.
The team behind this event just announced that they had to cancel after consultation of the local authorities.
They intend to organise the same event in 2021. An exact date is not known at this moment.
Our publications are on the way....

Although we are forced to stay at home due to the corona virus, we are still operational. The editorial staff has compiled your Aeronews of Belgium and BCARG publications and they are now in print. Mailing is planned for 15/4/2020.
So you'll soon have something to keep you busy in these strange times.
Belgian airspace remains closed for VFR flights
The closure of the Belgian airspace for VFR and training flights that was issued on 18th March remains in force till 19th April at 23.59 hrs.
Only Police, SAR and medevac flight are allowed as well as maintenance and pipeline inspection. These rules also apply for remotely piloted aircraft systems (= drones)

Lockheed Martin gets F.35 contract for delivery to Belgium
De U.S. Goverment accorded a few days ago a  USD22.9 million contract to Lockheed Martin. This is part of the agreement with the Belgian government, worth USD 5,1 billion, for the delivery of 34 F.35A fighters. Deliveries are planned from 2023 till 2030.

Emirates restarts flights to Brussels Airport
Next Monday Emirates will restart its flights to four European destinations, including Brussels. The company will offer three services each week using the Boeing 777-300ER.
These are the first flights since the company stopped its operations last week. Only passengers departing from Dubai are accepted as the country closed its borders to foreign citizens.

The main reason for the restart of these flights is the large cargo capacity of the Boeing 777. The rates for airfreight rose significantly because a large number of passenger flights were stopped. This makes it profitable for the airline to restart some services.

Sanicole Airshow 2020 cancelled
Although only planned in September of this year, the team behind the annual Sanicole Airshow already decided to cancel this event for 2020. Bringing together more than 40.000 people (35% from abroad) in the restricted area of the airfield is nog a good idea says airshow director Geoffrey Buekenberghs.
The next edition is planned for 10 till 12 September 2021 !

It should have been a good start

The start of 2020 looked as promising as the end of 2019 with good occupation of all TUI and Air Antwerp flights.
However it all changed in the blink of an eye when frontiers closed and the world came to a standstill and Air Antwerp and TUI were forced to keep their aircraft on the ground. This also reflects on the monthly figures of March. What should have been a magnificent first quarter is now reduced to an average one, thanks to corona.
We saw a decline in March of 43,7% compared to the previous year (9.806 pax vs 17.433). Nevertheless we have a small growth of 0.5% in the first quarter.
Government support for the TUI Group
The German authorities announced that they will support the TUI Group with a 1,8 bilj. loan that must allow the company to survive the current Corona crisis.
The deal has to be confirmed by a group of financial institutions and the company will not pay any dividends to the shareholders as long as this loan is used.
This deal will normally also allow the Belgian branch of the TUI Group to restart its operations after the Corona crisis is over.
Air Antwerp plans to restart flights on 4 May 2020

Air Antwerp announced that they are working on a restart of their flights between Antwerp Airport and London/City on Monday 4 May 2020. The company stopped its operations since 22 March.
Customers who booked a seat on a flight between today and the planned restart can change their reservation free of charge or cancel their booking.
Because of the fast changing situation Air Antwerp keeps his passengers informed via https://airantwerp.com/COVID-19-measures/COVID19

Brussels South Charleroi airport closes down

As from next Wednesday 24 March 20 at 23.59 hrs Brussels South Charleroi Airport will close the airport terminal for all passengers and airlines. This closure will continue till, at least, 05 April 20.
Charleroi is the first Belgian airport tot take this decision after more than 90% of the booked passengers do not show up for their flight and the decision of several European countries, including Belgium, to close the border for foreign travelers.

Passenger numbers at Brussels Airport
During February 2020, 1,738,988 passengers passed through Brussels Airport, which represents a 6% rise compared to the same month last year. This growth is seen both in the number of originating passengers and in the number of transfer passengers. It is worth pointing out however that February 2019 witnessed a nationwide strike on 13 February which kept all aircraft on the ground. February 2020 in turn had an extra day (29/02) as well as the mid-term break, which in last year fell in March. Which to a large extent explains last month’s results.
As such, the result for February as a whole is lower than forecasted. Without the effect of the leap day and the mid-term break, growth would have been negative. March points towards a substantial decline in passenger numbers, duet o the Corona crisis.
Temporary suspension of flights

Due to the Corona virus, Brussels Airlines has decided to suspend all flights between March 21st and April 19th, 2020.
Air Antwerp announces that they will suspend their Antwerp-London City route from March 22nd till April 10th, 2020.
We do  hope that the companies survive this setback in already difficult times and that all personnel can return to their jobs in good health.

New sales for Sonaca 200 trainer

An accredited training organization (member of the Swiss Flight School Association, Swiss PSA), Aero Locarno has chosen the Sonaca 200 to complete and renew its fleet of training aircraft. Following a comparative study, Aero Locarno decided to choose Sonaca Aircraft's two-seater single-engine aircraft. “The Sonaca 200 clearly stands out from the crowd!” bluntly stated Stefano Buratti, Aero Locarno CEO. “With its aluminum structure, the Sonaca 200 is a robust and easy-to-repair trainer aircraft. Stable and agile, the aircraft proved to be easy to fly even in turbulent conditions. The Sonaca 200 is a spacious and comfortable aircraft with optimal visibility on board. We have found our new aircraft for basic training!”.
Aero Locarno is Sonaca Aircraft’s first Swiss customer. “We are convinced that the Sonaca 200 has its rightful place in Switzerland" said Pierre Van Wetter, Chief Commercial Officer of Sonaca Aircraft “The engine and high rates of climb are particularly well suited to mountain flying, regardless of the aircraft's payload.

Excellent results for Antwerp Airport
February 2020 was a very good month for Antwerp Airport. 18.827 passengers used the airport, a rise with 22.20% compared to the same month in 2019.
These good results were achieved thanks to the Antwerp to London/City service operated by Air Antwerp and the very good results on the TUI Fly service to Innsbruck. This destination is very popular with people who like to spend their holiday in the snow.
The results could have even been better, but the winterstorms during two weekends in February resulted in  some diverted flights and even some cancellations. The Airport management remains vigilant regarding the coming months. The Corona virus will, almost certainly, result in a reduced number of passengers.
New ownership for Sabca

The Belgian aviation company Sabca has new owners. Sabena Aerospace and FPIM bought the company from Dassault Aviation for 75 mil. Euro’s. FPIM the an investment company controlled by the Belgian government. Sabena Aerospace will have 50% + 1 share in this new joint-venture.

Good results for Air Antwerp
Air Antwerp is flying the Antwerp – London/City route for four months now. During this period the company carried almost 15.000 passengers with their single Fokker 50. During December 2019 the company transported 4.179 passengers. That is a number that VLM never achieved in the past. Air Antwerp plans to have around 50.000 passengers per year.
At this moment the company offers 16 return flights per week between Antwerpen and London/City. There are three services on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and two daily flights on Tuesday and Sunday.
With only 15 employees Air Antwerp is one of the smallest airlines in Europe.

Air Belgium will fly for LOT

The Polish national airline LOT announced the lease of two Air Belgium A.340 aircraft during the first 10 months of 2020. The aircraft will be used on the Warschau to Toronto service. The deal also includes not only the aircraft but also the (Air Belgium) crew.

The two other Air Belgium A.340’ s are used on their own services to Guadeloupe and Martinique. Also Surinam Airways regularly uses an Air Belgium aircraft on their service between Paramaribo and Amsterdam/Schiphol.
Best year ever for Antwerp Airport

During 2019 some 306.330 passengers found their way through Antwerp Airport. This is an all time high and a confirmation that Antwerp airport is worth investing in.
On time performance (OTP) in Antwerp is 98,3%, which ranks it among the best performing airports in Europe.
Congratulations to all personnel, crews and management for their continuing efforts.
Air Belgium accepts first Airbus A.330-900
Today, Air Belgium accepted, at Toulouse, the first of two Airbus A.330-900’s. The company will operate this aircraft on long-haul flights from Brussels Airport. This aircraft can accept up to 286 passengers (30 business class, 21 premium class and 235 economy class). These aircraft will replace the Airbus A.340’s that are still operated by the company today.
Boeing 777 freighters for CMA CGM
CMA CGM ordered two Boeing 777 freighter aircraft. We presume that these aircraft will complement the existing fleet of four Airbus A.330 freighters operated by Air Belgium from Liège/Bierset and Brussels airport. The Boeing 777 gives additional capacity as it is able to take more than 100 tons of revenue freight on flights up to 5.000 nmi.
Best ultralight of the year!
JMB aircraft is thrilled to announce that the VL3 Evolution has been awarded again by Fliegermagazin , one of the most famous magazines in Germany, as a best ultralight plane of the year!
After receiving the innovation award only a few weeks ago by another German press Aerokurier, the VL3 Evolution now holds both trophies for the year.
“This is a second year our aircraft has been awarded in a row and we are really excited about it as the hard work our team puts in designing and manufacturing the VL3 proves we are on the right track.” said the CEO of JMB aircraft, Jean Marie Guisset.
Bert Zegels passed away
On Wednesday 07 July 2021 Belgian glider ‘legend’ Bert Zegels passed away. Bert started his career gliding at Keiheuvel. In 1974 he obtained second place in de world championship gliding at Waikerie (Australia) in the Open Class.
He later flew as a professional airline pilot for Delta Air Transport on Fokker F.28, Air Belgium on the Boeing 757 and Citybird and Korean Airlines on the MD.11.
The picture attached shows Fokker F.28 – OO-DJA – flown by Bert making an impressive low-pass at the Keiheuvel air show on 23 August 1987.
(photo Bob Rongé)
Gulfstream sales tour visit Belgium
On 28 and 29 June 2021 a Gulfstream 280 and a Gulfstream 500 visited Luxaviation at Kortrijk/Wevelgem airport as a final stop of a European sales tour. The Gulfstream Aerospace sales team made this visit in an effort to sell their aircraft on the Belgian bizjet market where the long and middle range segment is dominated by their rivals Dassault Aviation and Bombardier.
Fleet update for Air Belgium
An Airbus A.330neo (c/n 1844) was spotted at Toulouse with an air Belgium logo on the engine cowlings. It seems that Air Belgium intends to replace the three Airbus A.340 aircraft in service at this moment by two Next Generation Airbus A.330 aircraft.
Both aircraft, originally intended for Rwandair, are parked at Toulouse at this moment.
U.S. presidential visit restricts G.A. activities in Belgium
As a result of the visit of U.S. president Biden to the NATO Summit at Brussel, important restrictions on General Aviation flights will be implemented from 13 June till 15 June included.
In a 13 nm range around Brussels all VFR activity will be prohibited. All airfields/heliports in this zone will be closed, except Brussels Airport.
In a 30 nm range VFR flights can only take place based on a flight plan submitted at least 60 min before departure and are limited to transponder equipped aircraft. Flights in Class G airspace (= uncontrolled airspace) must stay in contact with BELGA information (129.325).
Aerobatic flights, gliding and parajumping activities as well as all ULM, DPM and balloon flights are prohibited during this period.
The precise timing of the activation of all these restrictions will be communicated later.
It will be quiet over Belgium during this period we presume !
Air Belgium cooperates with Corendon
Air Belgium will start a service from Charleroi/Brussels South to Curaçao as from 3 July. This service, flown with the Air Belgium Airbus A.340 aircraft, will make a stop at Martinique before flying to Willemstad on the Island of Curaçao. Corendon is aiming at Belgian customers who do not have to travel to Amsterdam to catch their flight.
The Belgian government still has to adapt the travel restrictions towards Curaçao in order to start this operation.
New route by Eurowings

As from June 29th Eurowings will be flying out of Brussels South Charleroi Airport. The airline will organise regular flights to Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. Tickets are available via the company's website at a starting price of € 49,99.
Open Belgian Gliding Nationals 2021
This annual competition was flown at Saint Hubert from 22 May till 29 May. The new champions are Thomas De Bruyn in the Club-class, Dennis Huybreckx in the combined Standard, 15M and 20M and Jean-Luc Colson in the combined 18m - 20m and Open class.
Thomas De Bruyn flew the Rolladen Schneider LS.4 – OO-YBL/B4, Dennis Huybreckx flew the Rolladen Schneider LS.8 – D-1688/CM and Jan-Luc Colson the Schleicher ASG.29/18M – D-KCTC/TC.
175 destinations from Brussels Airport

This summer, Brussels Airport can offer no less than 175 destinations to its passengers. Everyone in need of holidays after this challenging year is sure to find what they’re looking for in the wide range of destinations. The sanitary safety measures that continue to apply at the airport and the mandatory testing for almost all destinations combine to make the airport a very safe place for you to begin your holidays. 95% of departing passengers has a negative Covid-19 test certificate.
CMA CGM Cargo/Air Belgium offers additional destinations
Air Belgium, flying three Airbus A.330 freighters for CMA CGM Cargo offers three additional destinations. After three U.S. destinations (Chicago, New York and Atlanta) the company will add Beirut, Istanbul and Dubai as new destinations in the coming weeks.
From its base a Liège/Bierset airport he company offers a rapid connection between these new destinations and the U.S.A.
Air Antwerp Fokker flown to Malmö

Today Air Antwerp's sole Fokker 50 was ferried to Malmö for a C-check and temporarily storage as officially communicated. When and if we will see it returning remains to be seen. Whatever happens next, time will tell.
More Ryanair destinations for Brussels South airport
Ryanair announced another four destinations that it will service from Brussels South airport during the coming summer. These are Santorini and Heraklion (twice per week). Chania and Rhodos will have three flights each week until the end of Oktober.
Brussels Airport and skeyes test safety drone and drone detection system
Brussels Airport and skeyes are testing the operational use of drones at and around the airport this week. In a secure environment, an innovative safety drone is deployed, which can be controlled from a large distance to find out how drones can increase the safety, security and efficiency of airport operations. In addition, a drone detection system is being tested to detect unwanted drones, as these are not allowed in normal circumstances at and around the airport.
Air Belgium/CMA CGM Air Cargo announces new routes

CMA CGM Air Cargo will add two U.S. destinations to their network. After Chicago, also Atlanta and New York will be serviced. Yesterday the second airbus A.330F was delivered to their Liège/Bierset base. The company will operate four Airbus A.330F aircraft. At his moment the first aircraft, OO-CMA, is flying a daily schedule from Liège/Bierset to Chicago.
Fouga moved to a new location
Former Belgian Air Force Fouga Magister MT29 moved from Balen to a new location at Helchteren. It stands there along a former Czech A.F. Mig 21.
(Photo: Toon Cox)
Sonaca Aircraft delivers three aircraft
Today, around noon, three Turkish registered Sonaca 201 aircraft left the Sonaca facility at Temploux airport on delivery to Ayjet in Turkey.
New F-16 contract for SABCA
The United States Air Force has awarded the maintenance contract for their Europe based F-16's to SABCA. SABCA MRO in Charleroi is the expertise center for F-16's in Europe. The contract means work for the coming 10 years.
New Swissport building at Brussels Airport
Swissport inaugurated a brand-new four-story office building at its Brussels air cargo facility. This opening is the latest milestone in the large-scale refurbishment of Swissport’s Brussels cargo complex which started in January 2019 and includes 25,000 sqm of warehouse space and a state-of-the-art Pharma Center.
The opening of the office building allows Swissport to further improve the flow of trucks with a dedicated on-site queuing area right in front of the new acceptance office. Solar panels and a green roof of over 1,000 sqm will greatly improve the environmental performance of the facility. With its stunning airport views, the building provides employees and customers with a highly modern and motivating work environment.


Antwerp Airport
Traffic on all airports is very slow due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Today the Antwerp Airport management used this opportunity to refurbish all markings on the runway and platforms. So, a lot of ‘painting’ activity today.
Also the demolition of part of the ‘south hangars’ has now started. This area will be used by ‘De Lijn’ to build a new facility for maintenance and parking of their public transport buses.
10 new Boeing 737-800 for ASL Group
ASL Aviation has confirmed that it is taking up 10 options for the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter. This follows the original agreement with Boeing for 10 firm orders and 10 options, announced at the Paris Air Show in June 2019. The first 737-800BCF aircraft for ASL was delivered and entered service last month with ASL Airlines France.
(source : aviation24.be)
Travel ban impacts Belgian Airlines
The ban on non-essential travel issued by the Belgian government was recently extended. As a result Air Belgium announced that it will not restart passenger flights to Martinique and Guadeloupe before 1 April.
Air Antwerp announced that the earliest restart of the service from Antwerp Airport and London/City will be 2 May 2021 !
Wizz Air announces new route from Charleroi/Brussels South
Wizz Air will start a Charleroi/Brussels South to Sarajevo service on 21 May 2021 using Airbus A.320 aircraft. The service will be flown twice each week on Monday and Friday. Tickets are for sale for 19.,99 (!!) Euro.
Wizz Air now offers flights to 15 destinations from Charleroi/Brussels South airport.
New offshore contract for NHV
NHV Group today announced a new long-term contract with Neptune Energy in support of its offshore Seagull Field development. Under the initial eighteen months agreement, the H175 flights will depart from NHV’s base in Aberdeen to transport passengers to the drilling rig.
(photo Lloyd Horgan)
Brussels Airport – December 2020
Still no improvement during December 2020. Passengers went down with 82.20% (338.110 versus 1.901.816 in 2019). The movements went down with 63.90% (6.308 in 2020 – 17.579 in 2019)
Full freighter cargo went up again. This month with 7.2% (15.492 tons) But the overall cargo went down with 8.90 %. Main reason is the belly cargo flown on passenger flights that went down with 59% from 14.716 tons to 6.035 tons.
Air Belgium stops flights (again) – TUI Fly considers stopping.
Air Belgium announced that it stops (again) its scheduled flights to the West Indies from 30 January untill 1 March 2021.
TUI Fly is studying a possible suspension of all flights during February. All these decisions are based on the ban on leisure travel imposed by the Belgian government.
Fedex reduces European workforce
Fedex announced that up to 6.300 European employees will have to leave the company. The impact on the Belgian workforce will, almost certainly, be very important.
Paris/CDG airport will become the main European hub. This means that the number of aircraft (and parcels) at Liège/Bierset will reduce. More details are not known at this moment.
2020 was a record year for Liege Airport

While the aviation sector worldwide was experiencing a nightmarish 2020, Liege Airport was one of the few airports in Europe and throughout the world to perform well. Our specialisation in the transport of goods (full cargo) made us a leading player, an essential link in the fight against the pandemic. We saw a 24% increase in the tonnage passing through the airport compared to 2019, going from 902,480 to 1,120,643 tonnes.
The lockdown also had a direct effect on consumption patterns, which is reflected by a boom in the e-commerce sector, a sector which has become much more important to us as we have handled over 500 million packages this year, compared to just over 320 million in 2019.
Passenger traffic decreased sharply, with 44,487 travellers in 2020 compared to 170,737 in 2020, a 74% drop.
The total number of aircraft movements remained stable with 40,300 flights (landings and take-offs) in 2020, compared to 39,886 flights in 2019. The growth of our cargo activities was in fact offset by the decrease in passenger flights, training flights and business aviation.
Cargo record for Ostend Airport
Last year, during 2020, Ostend airport handled a total of 52.659 tons of freight (+ 112.7%)
The number of passengers went down from 457.423 to 111.499 (- 75.60%)
Brexit air bridge service
Jota Airlines, a British carrier operating several former Belgian registered BAe146/Avro RJ.85’s announced the start of an air bridge between Ostend airport and Birmingham. The company offers a twice daily scheduled service as a faster alternative for road transport. This will almost certainly be delayed as a result of Brexit. The aircraft used can take op the 10.5 tons of freight (up to 7 pallets of 9 cubic meters volume each)
Siai SF.260’s will fly to honor health personnel
On Thursday, 31.12.20, five Siai SF.260’s from the Belgian Air Force/Red Devils will fly a 2 hours tour around Belgium. They will pass over hospitals and care-homes in order to honor the health personnel who handled an enormous workload during the last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The aircraft will not pass over the provinces of West-Vlaanderen and Luxemburg due to the range of the aircraft.
Airport CEO Marcel Buelens retires
Today Marcel Buelens(66) (CEO of Antwerp and Ostend Airport) closes the door for the last time. After 6 years in charge of both airports he decided that it was time for retirement. He hands the keys of the airports over to Eric Dumas (55).
We wish him all the best in this new fase of his life.
First Belgian Defence Airbus A.400M arrived today
This morning the first Belgian Airbus A.400M (msn 106) was handed over at Sevilla (Spain). The aircraft was flown to Melsbroek AFB after this ceremony. It is the first of seven aircraft for the 15th Wing Air Transport.
The second aircraft will follow early 2021.
Alyzia SAS 2nd handler at Brussels Airport
Alyzia SAS is awarded the second licence for the baggage and ramp handling at Brussels Airport.
For the next five years, Alyzia will remain active as ground handler at Brussels Airport. Following a European tender process, the French ground handling services supplier was awarded a licence for the baggage and ramp handling of passenger aircraft until October 2025 included. Alyzia is currently operating at Brussels Airport with a temporary licence following the bankruptcy of Swissport in June.


Ursel airport temporary closed
As from next weekend Ursel airport as to close till the end of January 2021. Covid-19 is not the reason, it is Brexit. The airport and runway will be used to park trucks that have to wait before entering Zeebrugge harbour. The local authorities hope that this decision will help to keep the motorways around Zeebrugge free (source : het Nieuwblad)
Air Belgium restarts operations
Last Wednesday Air Belgium restarted their services to Guadeloupe and Martinique. Both destinations received the Covid-19 code ‘orange’ recently. This allows the company to fly to both destinations twice each week
First Covid-19 Vaccines left Brussels Airport
The first flights with COVID vaccines from Brussels Airport have been carried out successfully. Since the end of November, 7 flights have already been carried out to further distribute the COVID vaccine from our country. The very first flight with COVID vaccines worldwide departed from Brussels Airport on 27 November.
Yesterday, 15 December, 2020, United Airlines transported the first Covid-19 vaccines produced in Belgium to the U.S.A.
4-star APEX rating for Brussels Airlines
In a virtual meeting of the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) on Wednesday, Brussels Airlines reveived a 4-star rating in the category "Large Airlines". This rating is based on passenger feedback.
Between July 1st, 2019 and June 30th 2020 more than 1.000.000 flights of 600 airlines were rated by the passeng. Rating was done on the general flight experience and in detail on Seating, service, food, entertainment and WiFi.
NHV awarded H.145 service contract for German Air Force
The German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) have awarded NHV a contract for the provision and maintenance of three H145 aircraft in support of their Special Forces’ training program at Laupheim (HSG64). The one-year contract is foreseen to start in January 2021. In partnership with Milestone Aviation, NHV will provide two Airbus Helicopters H145D3 and one H145D2 aircraft. NHV’s MRO responsibilities include the management and implementation of maintenance and repair activities, material supply and airworthiness. The company will also provide the necessary training to the Air Force pilots.
With this contract win, NHV makes an entry into the German public market. The company will open a base and line maintenance station, and locate a dedicated team at the Laupheim Air Base in Baden-Württemberg, South Germany, creating a close cooperation with the Bundeswehr team. NHV’s brand new MRO facilities in Ostend (Belgium) will also act in support of the German MRO activities.
NHV is the first company providing trading capabilities on the modern H145D3 five-blades helicopter. The twin-engine multirole H145D3 is based on the enhanced H145 civilian and parapublic rotorcraft and is suited to a wide range of military operations – including transportation, reconnaissance, search and rescue, fire support and evacuations of wounded personnel. The new contract also brings along several new engineering jobs for which NHV is currently recruiting.
photograph Tom Buysse, via NHV)
Schaffen/Diest Oldtimer Fly-in 2021
The board of the Diest Aero Club, organisers of the annual Schaffen/Diest Oldtimer Fly-in, already decided to cancel the 2021 edition.
There is to much uncertainty regarding the Covid-19 situation and the effort to organise the Fly-in and Drive-in is too important to risk a last-minute cancellation. The next edition planned for 13 and 14 Augustus 2022.
Aero Locarno doubles Sonaca 201 order
In March 2020, Aero Locarno (Switzerland) has signed for 5 Sonaca 200 Trainer Pros. The Approved-Training-Organisation has just decided to double the initial order bringing the revised order to a total of 10 aircraft. “Even though we are going through a difficult time in aviation, we are seeing a steady demand for training which justifies the investment in a brand new fleet. We feel the need to harmonise our aircraft fleet by acquiring additional Sonaca 200 Trainer Pros. The Sonaca 200s will replace our old Cessnas. It goes without saying that glass cockpit and state-of-the-art aircraft will further spark interest in our school ", Stefano Buratti, Aero Locarno CEO.

The 6 first aircraft will be delivered from February 2021.
‘position switch’ within the Lufthansa Group
Dieter Vranckx, the Brussels Airlines CEO, will move to the same position within Swiss (also a member of the Lufhthansa group) on 1 January 2021
He will be succeeded as Brussels Airlines CEO by Peter Gerber. He is the CEO of Lufthansa Cargo at this moment. Gerber will also take the role of Group Chief Representative for European Affairs.
Heli and Co opens own hangar at Antwerp Airport
Last month, an existing hangar was totally refurbished at the north-side of Antwerp Airport. It is now clear that this hangar will be the base for the Heli and Co helicopters that operate from here. Until recently about 3 Robinson R.44, used on pipeline inspection missions, were parked in another hangar. The company, who operates mainly from Liège/Bierset airport, now has its own facility at Antwerp airport.
Again restrictions on General Aviation flights
According to a publication from the Belgian C.A.A. (text in Dutch)
General Aviation flights are only allowed solo, with family-members or a ‘sustainable maintained close contact’ ! This new rules are in effect since 2 November 2020.
Flight training is nog longer possible, if we understand the text correctly. Student/pilots who are allowed to fly solo can, however, continue their training.
This new regulation is less strict than in March of this year when all General Aviation flights were prohibited, except for a monthly maintenance flight, and is in line with the general Covid-19 restrictions where non-essential movements are allowed.


Patrick Janssens has left for the blue yonder
After months of fighting against a disease, our friend and member Patrick Janssens has lost his final battle.
Patrick was one of the fixed assets of Antwerp airport and has been for years the face of the BP fuel supply service at the airport.
We want to express our condolences to his family and friends.
Blue skies mate.
Air Transat restarts flights to Brussel in 2021.
Canadian carrier Air Transat announced their intention to restart the service connecting Brussels airport with Toronto from mid April 2021.
This service will be flown with the new Airbus A.321LR aircraft on Monday, Thursday and Sunday.
Air Transat is the first North-American operator of this new variant of the Airbus A.321. The A.321LR aircraft has a 4.000 nautical miles range and a 30% reduction in operating costs.
Brussels Airlines announced plans for upscaling
Brussels Airlines announced the timing for the restart of flights in order to bring their network to the level of early 2020. The intention is to serve all destinations again by the end of February 2021.
More info via this link :
Brussels Airlines traffic -- minus 95% !!
According to Eurocontrol info, published via Twitter, Brussels airlines traffic on 20 October 2020 was 95% lower than on the same day last year. The company is on the totally wrong end of the diagram! Traffic was more than 61% down in the Eurocontrol network. Knowing that the coming weeks are the slowest of the year, the prospect for (Belgian) airlines is simply very negative.
Rwandair adjusts European schedule
Rwandair announced that it will reduce the service on the Kigali – Brussel – London/Heathrow route to two weekly flights instead of three.
This reduction will be in effect between 25 Oktober till 30 November 2020.
The third weekly service will be restarted from 2 December 2020.
85% drop in passenger numbers at Brussels Airport in September, volumes of cargo continue to rise

379,303 passengers passed through Brussels Airport during September. This is just 15.2% of the total number of passengers recorded in September 2019. This negative result is mainly due to the increasing travel restrictions and in particular Spain, Brussels Airport's flagship destination, passing into the red zone. For its part, air freight continues to make progress, with a strong 18.9% increase in volumes observed in September
Charleroi/Brussels South airport runs at 26% !
During September 2020 handled 26% of passengers compared to the same month last year. The airport counted 189.377 passengers (737.428 in September 2019)
85.511 (45%) passengers were departing – 103.866 (55%) were arrivals.
The number of commercial flight went down with 54% - 2.025 movements, during September 2020. Italian destinations where the most popular, followed by France, Spain, Portugal and Greece.
Tui fly Belgium restarts flights to Alicante
As from 21 Oktober TUI fly Belgium intends to restart the service to Alicante. The flights to his destination were stopped on 4 September due to the Covid-19 ‘code red’ for the area. This status was downgraded to ‘Orange’ and this allows the restart of the activities.
The company will fly to Alicante daily from Brussels. There will be five flights each week from Oostende and three from Antwerpen and Charleroi. As announced earlier flights from Antwerpen and Oostende will stop again between 9 November and 17 december.
We can only hope that the Covid-19 status does not change again in the coming days !
ASL Airlines Belgium Announces Agreement with Nippon Cargo Airlines
ASL Airlines Belgium (ASLB) today announced that the airline has entered into an agreement for two B747-400F with Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA). The airlines will utilise the aircraft in a mutually beneficial relationship.
ASL Belgium will continue to operate its current fleet of three (3) B747-400F aircraft while NCA will continue to operate a fleet of eight (8) B747-8F aircraft.
“We are delighted to grow our partnership with Nippon Cargo Airlines,” said Dave Andrew, Chief Executive Officer of ASL Aviation Holdings (ASL). “Both ASL and NCA provide connections that support the global economy and we look forward to continuing to provide NCA and its customers with an unmatched service and a platform for future expansion.”


Brussels Airlines expands African network
Brussels Airlines announced that it will operate 16 longhaul routes during the coming winter (from 25 October 2020 till 27 March 2021).
Extra flight during the winter holidays will be available to Banjul, Bujumbura, Dakar, Douala, Entebbe, Freetown, Kigali, Kinshasa, Monrovia and Yaoundé
The service to New York will not restart before February 2021.
Destination September/
Peak period
December till
Abidjan 6 7 7
Accra 2 3 3
Banjul 1 2 3
Bujumbura 1 1 1
Cotonou 2 2 2
Dakar 5 5 6
Douala 3 3 4
Entebbe 2 2 3
Freetown 2 3 4
Kigali 1 1 2
Kinshasa 3/4 4 6
Lome 2 2 2
Monrovia 2 3 4
Yaounde 3 3 4
    +12% +40%
Temporarily suspension of flights from regional airlines
TUI has announced that they will suspend their flight from Antwerp, Ostend and Liège for a period of 6 weeks starting  November 9th, 2020, due to a lower demand in flights because of corona.
Brussels South Charleroi airport handled 65% less pax!
During July and August the airport handled 572.589 passengers, or 65% less than in the same months last year.
240.900 passengers used the airport during July and 331.389 during August. 45% of these passengers went abroad, 55% were arrivals.
The number of commercial movements went down with 49% from 9.524 in 2019 to 4.849 this summer.
More cargo for Ostend airport
During August 2020 Ostend airport welcomed 10.30% more passengers than the month before, but still 69.40% less than in the same month last year. For 2020 96.439 passengers used Ostend airport, 70% less than during 2019 (321.961 pax)
The volume of cargo handled at the airport remains very healthy. 4.407 tons were handled during August 2020, a rise with almost 305%!! New companies at the airport are Qatar Airways, Magma and Hong Yuan. During the first 8 months of 2020 a total of 35.805 tons were transported. A rise with 150% and already more than during the complete year 2019.
Sanicole Digital Airshow
Already in April 2020 the organisers of the annual Sanicole Airshow decided to cancel this year’s edition due to the Covid 19 pandemic. One of the reasons for his decision was the fact that the organisation needs a lot of support from medical qualified people. They normally volunteer for this job. But the organisers did not want to stress them extra. They already offer a lot of extra effort at this moment.
Now the organisation launches the Digital Sanicole Airshow via the Sanicole website.
Viewers can do a donation to the vzw Fire Stress Team Vlaanderen.
The digital airshow will show participants from 31 countries. Pilots that partcipated at the Sanicole Airshow in the past will give interesting insights. The Sanicole video archive is supplemented with extra footage delivered by different participants.
The digital airshow will go into premiere on 11 September 2020 at 20.00 hrs via de Sanicole website https://www.sanicole.com/nl/
Air Antwerp reduces flights offered
According to the Air Antwerp booking website, the company will only offer four flights per week from Antwerp airport to London/City starting on 14 September 2020. The company only offers the evening flight on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday until 26 October 2020.
Air Antwerp postpones restart
Air Antwerp announced that it will only restart the service from Antwerp Airport to London/City at 14 September. Initially the company intended to restart on 1 September. The quarantine rules in the U.K. make it very difficult to travel at this moment. The company will offer 2 flights each day and one on Sunday. The flight around noon is not in the schedule for the moment.
First Belgian A.400M Atlas flies !
Last Thursday, 30 July 2020, the first Airbus A.400M – CT-02 (c/n 106) made its maiden flight from the Airbus facility at Sevilla (Spain). The aircraft will be delivered to Melsbroek AFB after the completion of the handing over procedures.
More Alitalia flights to Brussels Airport
Alitalia announced today that they will offer more flights to Brussels Airport from September. The Italian carrier intends to offer 20 flights per week between Rome and Brussels. From Milan they will offer 24 connections each week
Hangar fire at Liège airport
Two days ago an hangar burned down at Liège Airport – This incident resulted in a lot of smoke and a disruption of the operations as the airport fire brigade was busy controlling the blast.
It now became clear that one aircraft was destroyed in this fire. A second airframe was pu!lled out of the hangar. Nobody was hurt during this incident
Brussels Airlines will not start additional flights in August
Brussels Airlines announced that the planned expansion scheduled for August will not take place. Lufthansa Group and the Belgian government are discussing possible financial support by the government for almost three months now. But without any result until today. So Brussels Airlines does not have the financial power to augment the number of aircraft in service. They will continue with 21 short-haul and only 2 long-haul aircraft.
Air traffic in Europe is on the rise again
Eurocontrol counted 90,549 flights last week, or 36.6% of the number of flights made in the same week last year.
On average, 12,936 (airline) flights were operated per day last week, 1,383 more than the previous week.
Ryanair took the largest number on its own, with an average of 1,045 per day (1,273 on Sunday). Turkish Airlines, Wizz Air, Lufthansa and Air France complete the top five. TUI Group had the highest growth rate for the latest fortnight (+561%).
Yesterday there were 13.378 flights - still 63% less than the same day last year
The most interesting figure, i.e. the number of passengers, is missing. Many flights are probably operating under unprofitable conditions.
(source : Eurocontrol)
VFR traffic is booming after lock-down
Since mid May, VFR have notably increased at all Belgian airports. At the regional airports they even accounted for the vast majority of traffic: 91,7% at Kortrijk, 71,7% at Ostend 78,8% at Charleroi, and 80,4% at Antwerp. At times Antwerp even handled the most flights of all airports.
The causes for the increase in VFR traffic are obvious. Pilots had more free time to exercise their hobby during the corona crisis. Moreover, due to the nice weather, they also had a lot of opportunity to do so. And due to the standstill of commercial air traffic, the airspace was more often available for their flights.
(source : Skeyes)
Duty-Free Shop at Antwerp Airport

Mr. René van Welzen (manager of Belgawel bvba) officially opened the brand new duty-free shop at Antwerpen Airport. The shop is located in the departure hall. This is a new valuable addition to the service supplied by Antwerp Airport to its passengers.

(photo : Dirk Buytaert)
Transavia launches route from Brussels Airport
Last year the Dutch carrier announced its intentions to offer flights to several holiday destinations from Brussels Airport. The company probably hoped to attract former Thomas Cook passengers. But the Corona pandemic stopped the plans.
Now the company announced that they will fly a Brussels to Innsbruck service from 17 December 2020 offering two return flights each week (Thursday and Sunday).
Brussels airport traffic numbers
During June 2020 Brussels Airport handled a total of 83.589 passengers (-96.50%) including 50.187
(-95.90%) departing passengers and 33.402 arrivals (-97.20%).
There were 3.957 aircraft movements (-81.10%). Passengers flights were 93.70% lower than in the same month a year ago but full-freighter flights went up with 45.90% (from 1.191 to 1.738) movements.
The cargo volume on these full freighter flights rose with 71.50% to 18.962 tons but the total cargo volume went up with only 4.80%.
Belgian Seakings saved
The two remaining Westland SeaKing helicopters operated from Koksijde until about a year ago were recently sold in the U.K.
The highest bid for RS02 and RS04 came from Historic Helicopters a U.K. based group that already operates a Westand Whirlwind and Wessex Heli as well as a former Royal Navy Westland SeaKing. They intend to keep these Belgian airframes airworthy and present them on airshows.
Brussels Airlines is expanding the present network
Brussels Airlines will add  additional routes to its present network and offer upto 45% of its pre-coron destinations. The flights will be executed with 27 aircraft. Basle, Birmingham, Bologna, Edinburgh, Goteborg, Milan/Linate and Warsaw are the first to re-open.Long-haul flights will be postponed till August, due to ongoing corona measures. First destination to open will be Freetown.
Social agreement at Brussels Airlines
The Board of Brussels Airlines and the social partners have an agreement on the restructuring of the company. The measures taken include:
- minimise the number of people laid off
- people who want to leave the company will be guided through the process of looking for a new job or make a career switch
- reduce costs and increase productivity of each unit
With this agreement, upto 75% of the jobs can be saved
Ryanair restarts operations from Charleroi/Brussels South

Today, 21 June, Ryanair flies to 20 destinations in nine different countries from Charleroi/Brussels South airport. The other destinations will be served from 1th July.
Air Belgium has to postpone restart
Air Belgium intended to restart the scheduled service from Charleroi/Brussel South to Guadeloupe and Martinique next week.
Due to a new quarantine-rule introduced by the French authorities the company has to postpone this restart till 15 July. At this moment visitors of the French Islands in the Caraibian have to stay into quarantine for two weeks after arrival.
NHV extends offshore contract with Ithaca Energy
Today NHV group announced it has signed a five-year contract extension with Ithaca Energy (UK) Limited, providing aviation services to the Ithaca Energy Group’s operated FPF-1 installation, Alba, Captain and Erskine fields in the Scottish North Sea. The extension covers seven day-a-week coverage out of Aberdeen and will start in January 2021. NHV will provide two Airbus H175 (primary + back-up) aircraft for this operation.


Swissport stops all operations at Brussels Airport
After going into bankruptcy their was, initially, some hope to find a new investor allowing a restart of the operations very soon.
This now proves to be impossible. Swissport will disappear from Brussels Airport. As a result some of the very few flights at the airport were already cancelled because groundhanding is not available. Finnair already announced to cancel all flights into Brussels still 17 June.
A short-term solution to replace Swissport as leading handling company at the airport seems not to be available.
Fresh money for Air Belgium
Together, the federal investment company FPIM and the Wallon investment companies Sogepa and SRIW invested 6 milj. Euro’s in Air Belgium. Sabena Aerospace injected around 300.000 euro in the company. This fresh money was necessary for the company to survive the current crisis. The intial ad-hoc flights to bring Belgian citizens home came to a standstill. At present the company is flying cargo between China and Europe.
(source : De tijd)
Swissport Belgium nv goes into bankcruptcy
Handling company Swissport Belgium nv announced today that it will go into bankruptcy. 1.469 jobs are probably lost as a result. The company is the handler for Brussels Airlines. More than 50% of the work done by Swissport Belgium was related to Brussels Airlines flights. Siwssport Belgium was already loosing money for several years. The Covid 19 pandemic together with the reduction of the Brussels Airlines fleet by 30% where important factors for this decision.
The cargo department remains operational. This branch has 67 employees.
Life restarting an Antwerp Airport

TUI has announced that they will restart operations at Antwerp on July  10th, 2020.
Antwerp Airlines will start its operations on September 1st. This decision is caused by the fact that all visitors to the UK will have to go into quarantine for 14 days, making business trips rather difficult
Passengers slowly picking up
Antwerp Airport is still suffering from the corona measures. In May we saw 1.236 passengers or 95% less than in May 2019. Over the period of January-May the number of passengers has decreased by 50,6% (49.880 vs 100.644)
Renovating runway 07L/25R at Brussels Airport
Starting on 8 July, runway 07L/25R will be closed for major renovation works. As a result this runway will be unavailable till 23 August. Works are carried out 24/24 – 7/7 in order to limit the closure of this runway. Under normal conditions runway 07L/25R is the most important take-off runway at Brussels Airport.
This runway is the last of the 3 runways that receives a major make-over. Runway 07R/25L was renovated in 2015 and runway 01/19 in 2016.
Impact of Covid 19 spread on General Aviation is enormous!
The decline in aircraft deliveries reflects the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on General Aviation.
During the first quarter of 2020 deliveries declined although the first months of the year were strong. Turboprop deliveries went down with 41.8%. Deliveries of bizjets sank with 19.1%. Piston fix-wing aircraft deliveries fell by 11.7% and piston helicopter deliveries went 42.9% lower than in de same quarter of 2019. Turbine heli’s lost 18.3%. The value of all these aircraft was 21.3% lower than in 2019.
We noted two new bizjets on the Belgian civil register during the first quarter. Surprisingly three aircraft were registered in April 2020 !
source : GAMA
Covid 19 contact tracing
The Taskforce Lichte Luchtvaart (Taskforce Light Aviation) asks all pilots to keep a log of all persons with whom they had contact when making a flight (names and functions and, if possible, mobile nrs). This will help to return General Aviation to ‘normal’ as soon as possible. The idea is to safe the list for about 3 to 4 months. It can then be destroyed when no contaminations have been reported.
Ryanair plans a restart on 21 June
As from Sunday 21 June Ryanair will offer a limited number of flights from Brussels and Charleroi/Brussels South.
At this moment the company operates only one single service from a Belgian airport, between Brussels and Dublin.
From early July the company plans to add flights to other destinations and increase the frequency on other services. The idea is to offer, at that moment, around 1.000 daily flights on the complete Ryanair network.
BSCA resuming flights
Brussels South Charleroi Airport announced today that commercial flights will be resumed on June 15th, 2020. All precautions have been taken to safeguard personnel and travellers.
Additional money for regional airports

The Flemish government has granted additional subsidies for the airports of Antwerp and Ostend. Antwerp will receive an extra 300.000 eur and of course our "green friends" are disappointed.
Brussels Airlines to take drastic measures
Our number one carrier Brussels Airlines has announced that drastic measures will have to be taken in order to survive the corona pandemic. 1.000 persons (25%) will be fired as a result of the downsizing of the fleet by 30%. Brussels Airlines also hopes to get financial aid from the Belgian government as well as the main shareholder Lufthansa.
Decline in flights over Belgium
Eurocontrol gives very interesting info on their website regarding the decline of airline traffic over Belgium and our neighboring countries. Traffic over Belgium went down with as much as 85%
Have a look at
Antwerp Airport traffic figures
During April 2020 the airport handled 96 !! passengers, pilots not included. The impact of the Covid 19 pandemic is enormous. There were 325 movements (essential flights as well as inspection and maintenance flights) compared to 3.139 last year.
N.H.V. awarded offshore contract from Blackpool (UK)
NHV Group today announced a new long-term contract with Spirit Energy to provide passenger transfer services in support of their East Irish Sea operations. The operations are foreseen to start in December 2020 and will depart from Blackpool (UK). NHV’s team will fly an AW169 helicopter to support the service.
NHV already gained experience with the AW169 helicopter type in Norway, where they operate the AW169 in support of the Norwegian Coastal Agency’s operations since 2017. Mike Gislam, Accountable Manager for NHV in the UK, commented: “We are honoured to be chosen aviation partner for Spirit’s East Irish Sea Operations. NHV continues to invest in fleet and training to take on unique projects just like this one."
Brussels South/Charleroi airport studies possible reopening
Brussels South/Charleroi airport closed its terminal on 24 March 2020 with the intention to restart the activities on 3th May.
Now the airport management communicated that they are looking at a possible restart early June. One of the important factors in a reopening is a decision by the national security council allowing Belgian citizens to travel abroad again. Also the different airlines operating from the airport still a have to announce their plans.
Brussels Airlines flights suspended

Brussels Airlines today announced that they will suspend their scheduled flight till June 1st, due to the ongoing corona pandemic. However some aircraft are kept on stand-by for repatriation and/or humanitarian flights.
All 4.200 employees are kept in technical unemployment.
Booming business at Liège/Bierset airport
Liège/Bierset airport is one of the rare airports were the impact of the Covid 19/Corona crisis is almost invisible. It may even have a positive impact.
Shipping cargo in the belly of passenger aircraft came to a standstill. As a result the prices for cargo on full-freighter aircraft went up from about 1 euro/kg to between 4 and 5 euro/kg. This means at all available cargo aircraft are flying at this moment.
Liège airport handled 6% more freight during March 2020 than in the same month of 2019. Every week about 650 cargo flights are handled or about 4 every hour !!
‘Sonic boom’ over Limburg
Yesterday a ‘sonic boom’ could be heard over Limburg. During a test flight after maintenance a Belgian Air Force testpilot accelerated his F.16 though the sound barrier. Belgian Defense announced this flight to the neighbourhood of Kleine Brogel AFB in order to avoid any anxiety among the people living in the area. (source : www.internetgazet.be)
Thai Airways also delays start-up
Thai Airways announced that it will not restart the Bangkok to Brussel service before early July. Earlier the company intended to restart this service early June. At this moment three weekly flights are planned (Tuesday, Friday en Sunday). Before the Covid 19 crisis the company offered six weekly flights
Grounded airliners
Brussels Airport take the 16th place in an overview published by Eurocontrol regarding the number of parked and inactive airliners. 78 aircraft are parked (including 43 Brussels Airlines and 23 TUI aircraft). Aircraft kept in stand by are not included in this numbers.
For more details look at
This website gives more interesting insights regarding aircraft types and companies involved.
Mon Van Gestel passed away
We were informed that Mon Van Gestel passed away last Friday. He became 90 years old last January. Mon was involved in the founding of Aeroclub Keiheuvel and was, for years, the chief instructor at Keiheuvel. The number of pilots he trained must be very important. He will always be remembered for his ‘crazy flying’ demo at the annual Keiheuvel airshow disguised as a missionary who just started his flight training.
Blue skies Mon!
(photo Archives ASA/Georges Van Belleghem)
Sint Niklaas annual balloon event cancelled
 The annual Balloon event at Sint Niklaas that takes place during the first weekend of September as part of the Vredesfeesten has been cancelled. For the first time since 1948 there will fly no balloons from the market place in the city-center this year !
Liège-Bierset airport becomes WHO hub
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has appointed Liège-Bierset airport as the European hub for the transport of medical equipment related to the Corona/Covid 19 epidemic. The airport will be used to transport up to 100 milj. mouth masks and gloves, 25 milj. ventilators and 2,5 milj. testkists. The WHO stated that the airport was chosen for its central location and its 24/24 hrs operations.
Etihad Airways will also restart flights to Brussels Airport
Abu Dhabi based Etihad Airways announced that it will restart flights to several European destinations, including Brussels. Abu Dhabi offers passengers that are blocked in Abu Dhabi due to the Covid 19-restrictions the possibility to go home. But, the main raison for the restart is the cargo business, especially the transport of fresh products.
Brussels Airlines cancels 8 destinations
Brussels Airlines announced that it will not restart services to 8 European destinations before the 2021 summer schedule. These cities are Sevilla, Valencia, Bristol, Hannover, Billund, Marrakech, Santorini and even Moskou. As a result of this decision the lease of five Bombardier CRJ.900’s was stopped. These aircraft were returned to CityJet. Brussels Airlines said that it is not clear, at this moment, which services will be restarted first on 15th May. This depends on the permissions received from the countries involved.

ASL starts construction of new GAT terminal at Liège/Bierset
Early April bizjet operator A.S.L. started the ground work for the construction of their new hangar and G.A.T. terminal at Liège/Bierset Airport. This is a major project for this company that is also finishing a new hangar at Antwerp Airport.

Brussels Airlines delays restart
Brussels Airlines announced that they will not restart their services until, at least, 15 May 2020. When starting again, there will only be a restricted number of services available.
Some aircraft remain available for flights to bring stranded Belgian citizens home. Airbus A.330 – OO-SFE – was very active the previous days making flight from Brussels to Kinshasa and Lubumbashi on 1 April. A flight Brussels – Abidjan – Conakry – Brussels on 4 April and a service Brussel – Freetown – Monrovia – Brussel on 5 April 2020.
Passengers on cancelled flights can chose a new date to travel till 31 August 2020. The trip  can be delayed till 30 April 2021.

‘Renationalisation’ of Brussels Airlines is an option
LN24, a French speaking news agency, announced that the Belgian governement is studying a possible renationalisation of Brussels Airlines.
A group of experts including the president of the Belgian National Bank is looking at this option.
The company needs between 200 and 290 milj. Euro’s to stay operational. There are major concerns about the actions Lufthansa will be prepared to take after the Corona crisis. They will have to solve major issues to stay in business themselves. So, the survival of their affiliates will, probably, not have the highest priority.
The Belgian government expects additional information from the Germans.
Brussels Airlines is seen as a company that is essential for the Belgian economy. 3.500 people are working for the company that is also very important for Brussels Airport and the Belgian tourist related businesses.
Other European countries take the same steps regarding their national airlines.

Brussels Airport closed A-terminal
Last Monday the Brussels Airport management decided to close the A-terminal. This terminal is normally used for intra Schengen flight only. Due to the very limited number of flights at this moment all aircraft and passengers are handled from the B-terminal.

Brussels South Charleroi Airport prepares reopening

Brussels South Charleroi Airport intends to restart commercial flights from Monday 4 May 2020. This date is based on information from the National Security Board and from the initial planning made by the airlines involved.
The airport hopes to confirm this date later. Today only medical flights as well as flights related to maintenance activities are accepted.

Antwerp Airport remains open

On Sunday March 22nd, all regular flights will come to a halt. There are no training, nor VFR flights but the airport will remain open with minimal occupation. All service and administrations will be available apart from the navigation office. The airport building remains open to the public but social distancing has to be respected.
Repatriation of Belgian citizens

Brussels Airlines has planned 56 special flights to repatriate 9.500 Belgians, stuck in 14 different countries. Although all flights will be suspended between March 21st and April 19th, 2020, the company will remain on stand-by in case additional repatriation flights need to be executed.
A big thumbs up to all personnel. Keep it safe and healthy.
Belgian airspace closed for VFR traffic

As part of the Covid 19 mesures taken by the Belgian government the Belgian airspace will close for all training and VFR flights from 11am GMT on 18 March 2020 till 11am GMT on 5 April 2020.
The only flights allowed under VFR conditions are medical, police and SAR operations as well as pipeline inspections.
Brussels Airlines to move to new Brandenburg Airport

Starting November 8th, all companies of the Lufthansagroup will move their operations from Berlin/Tegel (TXL) to the new Berlin/Brandenburg airport (BER). All reservations will be transferred automatically and free of charge.
Brussels Airlines' first flight will be at 6:50 (SN2592).
Corona virus impacts Brussels Airport
Cathay Pacific cancelled more than 50% of all its flight during February and March due to the impact of the Corona virus on air travel. Also the flights to Brussels are impacted . For March to company reduced the number of flights to around 60% of the initial number. Only seven flight are planned. Two flight per week during the first two weeks of March and only one service during the remaining weeks of the month. Normally the company offers 18 flights per month.
TUI Airlines Belgium adds two Balkan destinations to its network
During the coming summer TUI will offer flights to two new destinations : Ohrid in North Macedonia and Pula, Istria in Croatia.
The Balkan destinations are very popular with already 25% more bookings compared to last year.
Ohrid will be flown every Saturday starting on 6 June 2020. Pula will be served twice each week (Wednesday and Saturday) from 5 April 2020.













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