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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

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.
More Icelandair Cargo flights at Liège-Bierset

Icelandair signed a contract with Fedex and TNT regarding their parcel shipments to and from Iceland. The new contract starts early January 2020.
As a result, Icelandair Cargo will fly up to seven times per week to Liège-Bierset. This airport is a major European hub for Fedex and TNT.

Additional Air Antwerp flight on Sunday

Starting on 22 December Air Antwerp will offer a second flight between Antwerp Airport and London/City on Sunday. Air Antwerp noticed that the demand for seats on Sunday is higher than expected. With this additional service the company hopes to reach more customers who visited family or friends as well as business-travelers going  to Antwerp or London on Sunday in order to start working early the next morning.
During the the Christmas period the 14.15hr flight will not be flown on Tuesday.

Transavia flights (2)

Transavia announced earlier that it will offer flights from Brussels Airport during the coming summerseason. Destinations will be Alicante and Ibiza in Spain, Verona in Italy, Corfu, Heraklion and Thessaloniki in Greece, as well as Tel Aviv, Agadir and Faro.  The company will offer a total op 28 flights per week.

Transavia offers flights from Brussels Airport
Starting with the coming summerseason Air France/KLM daughter Transavia will offer nine routes from Brussels Airport. It was expected that the airline would base some aircraft at Brussels and so open a base at the airport. But this rumour was denied by the company.

New CEO at Brussels Airlines
Dieter Vranckx has been appointed new CEO of Brussels Airlines. He will also be Chief Commercial Officer of the company. Dieter will start in his new function on January 1st, 2020.
TUI Fly will restart service to Miami
Starting on 4 april 2020 TUI fly will offer again a twice weekly service between Brussel and Miami (Florida) using a Boeing 787. These flight will be operated on Tuesday and Saturday. TUI Fly already flew the same route earlier this year but stopped on 1 September 2019.
Government funding of Antwerp Airport

The European Commission has no objections against government funding of Antwerp and Ostend airport. They consider the funding as good for the development of the citizens mobility and the development of the Flemish region.
The airport offers jobs to more than 1.000 people.
Between 2014 and 2018 the number of passengers has risen from 121.357 to 298.403. 

Brussels Airlines has to reduce costs

Brussels Airlines has to reduce the costs with about 160 milj. Euros per year against 2022. That is about 10% of the annual costs. In order to achieve this goal the company announced that they will try to become a smaller, more profitable airline. The impact of this decision on the workforce, the fleet and the current routes is not clear at this moment.
All this effort must result in an 8% profit from 2022.
Austrian Airlines, another Lufthansa-daughter, has to perform the same type of exercise in order to realise a reduction of the costs with (only) 90 milj. Euros per year.

New route for Ryanair at Charleroi airport
As from today, Ryanair will connect Brussels South/Charleroi airport with Tel Aviv. The service will be flown on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with Boeing 737-800. Tickets available on:
Air Antwerp - KLM code share

Air Antwerp has signed a codeshare contract with KLM for the routes between Amsterdam and Manchester, Newcastle and Heathrow. Flights will be executed by KLM but Air Antwerp WP code will also be applied and can be booked via their website. This way Air Antwerp can expand its income base without further costs.
Daily service to Malaga from Antwerp
As from the Easter holidays, TUI will fly daily services from Antwerp to Malaga. In 2015 the company announced a twice weekly schedule and now 5 years later the frequency rises to 7 times. It the company's first destination ever that is flown daily out of Antwerp.
New record for Antwerp Airport

34.732 passengers used the airport during September (some 10.000 more than during September 2018). This increase is due to some new routes flown by TUI and of course the start of Air Antwerp on the new Antwerp-London City service.
Another positive note : 97,7% of the flights departed on their scheduled time.
Daily flights to Kinshasa

As from last week, Brussels Airlines is again flying daily to Kinshasa. The company also introduces its new Premium Economy class on its African routes.
Brussels Airlines perform 84 weekly flights to 17 African countries.

Brussels Airlines suffers from Thomas Cook collapse.
As a result the the collapse of the Thomas Cook Group, Brussels Airlines announced that it will cancel 105 flights planned for Oktober 2019. Although the Belgian Thomas Cook branch works hard on a restart, all planned and booked holidays and flights were cancelled.
Rhodos, Djerba and Enfidha will disappear as destinations. Flights to other holiday destinations will be reduced. Brussels Airlines will look for alternative solutions for about 3.500 passengers who booked seats on the cancelled flights via other sources. This situation will definitely impact the plans Brussels Airlines made in order the achieve a 8% profit. This is part of the deal with Lufthansa when they allowed the company to continue as an independant airline earlier this year.

Emirates present in Belgium for 5 years

Emirates celebrates 5 years of acitivity at Brussels Airport. They started in 2014. Today they offer two flights each day between Brussels and Dubai using Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft. The first flight (EK184) leaves Brussels at 15.05 hrs and arrives at Dubai at 23.40 hrs local time. The second flight (EK182) starts at21.45 hrs local time and arrives the next morning at 06.15 hrs in Dubai.  During these 5 years the company flew around 1.2 milj. Passengers on this route.
Emirates Cargo transported more than 128.000 tons from and to Belgium. Since January 2018 the company flew around 4.000 tons of pharmaceutical cargo to and from Brussels Airport. The company also flew 80 special ‘horses-cargo’ flights into Liège/Bierset airport carrying 3.500 animals.
The company has 230 Belgian employees, including 88 pilots and 23 flight attendants. 38 of these pilots fly on the Airbus A.380.

KLM reduces flights to Brussels
KLM will reduce the number of daily flights between Amsterdam and Brussels from five to four. KLM stated that it will promote the Thalys train for the trip between these two cities. Rumour has it that KLM needs the slot at Schiphol airport for an additional long-haul flight.

Air Belgium will fly to Martinique

Starting on 7 December Air Belgium will start a scheduled service from Charleroi/Brussels South to Martinique. This flights will be operated by the Airbus A.340’s operated by Air Belgium. There will be two return flights each week.
In the past the company tried to start a scheduled service to Hong Kong but these flight where stopped very soon after the start. Martinique seems to be a popular destination for holiday-makers who book their trips via travel agencies in the French speaking part of the country.
Air Antwerp has been founded
In Antwerp a new airline has been founded by the Dutch KLM and the Irish CityJet. Air Antwerp, as the company is called plans to operate one Fokker 50 out of Antwerp to three different destinations, of which one is London City. If all goes as planned, services could start in the second half of 2019.
We wish the company all the best.
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.
Aeroflot code-share agreement

Brussels Airlines and Aeroflot Russian Airlines have signed as code-share agreement to give passengers more flexibility and choice for their flights between Brussels and Moscow. Ticket sales will start as from January 20th, 2020.
Singapore Airlines will reappear at Brussels Airport
Singapore Airlines announced that it will restart a Singapore to Brussel service from 25 Oktober 2020 using the Airbus A.350. Singapore Airlines offered this connection in the past but stopped it in 2003. The new service will be available four times per week. The Airbus A.350 offers 253 seats including 42 in Business Class

Christina Förster leaves Brussels Airlines
Brussels Airlines C.E.O. Christina Föster announced that she will leave the company at the end of this year. She was promoted to C.E.O. in April 2018 after being commercial director of the company.
Föster returns to Germany where she will become a board-member of the Lufthansa Group responsible for Customer & Corporate Responsibility.

Brussels Airlines and TUI join strength

As from Christmas 2019 Brussels Airlines will operate one of its Airbus A320 on behalf of TUI Airlines. TUI currently has capacity problems due to the B7373MAX issues.
Building works at Antwerp Airport
On Monday last, builders started on the demolition of the old Sabena and Swissport hangars and Ziegler offices on the parking at Antwerp airport. These are being removed in order to free up space for additional parking spaces.
In 2020 the existing parking 3 will disappear, to make space for the busses maintenance and storage facility of the 'De Lijn'.

Best month in the history of Liege Airport!
In these challenging times with air cargo volumes being down all over the world, Liege Airport is going against the trend.
It has the best month in its history - almost 84,000 tonnes in October 2019 - bringing the volume up to 730,000 tonnes for the first 10 months of 2019 with 2 peak months to go.
Besides being the highest monthly volume October 2019 also showed the highest import volume ever, making up 51% of the volume.

Another C.130 retired
Last week, Lockheed C.130H – CH03 – was withdrawn from service. This aircraft served with the Belgian Air Force for over 47 years !! The final mission was a trip tot he U.S.A. with included visits to Memphis and Las Vegas.
(photo : ASA/Georges Van Belleghem coll.)

Laudamotion welcomed at Charleroi airport

This morning the Airbus A320 of Laudamotion landed for the first time at Brussels South Charleroi airport. The new service between Vienna and Charleroi will be flown 6x weekly.
Tickets are available  on the website http://www.laudamotion.com
New destinations for Ostend airport

TUI today also anounced that they will fly twice weekly to Murcia (Wednesday and Saturday) as from the next summer season starting with the Easter holidays. In July and August the company guarantees also direct flights to Tenerife and Gran Canaria, a nice gain in travel time.
No lease of aircraft for Government
Only last month, the Government decided to dry-lease two VIP aircraft to replace the aircraft currently operated by Defence.
The contract was assigned to Abelag Aviation by minister of Defence Didier Reynders for an amount of 124 miljon euro over 12 years. Flying Group disputed the contract before the 'Raad van State' as several errors were made in the procedure.
Today Defence has announced that the contract will not go through. To be continued....
New destination for Brussels Airlines.
After the demise of Adria Airways Brussels airport lost its connection with the Slovenian capital Ljubljana. As from 4th November Brussels Airlines will add this city as a new destination to its network. This route will be flown six days each week (not on Saturday)

Sonaca Aircraft fully operational at Temploux
On Friday 20 September 2019 Sonaca Airport inaugurated their brand new facility at Temploux airport. The 2.000 m³ hangar includes the assembly line for the Sonaca 200 and 201 aircraft as well as offices for the supporting departments. On Saturday morning the Sonaca management gave more details regarding their future plans to the aviation press. More details in the next issue of Aeronews of Belgium.

Wizz Air will fly to Brussels Airport
Hungarian carrier Wizz Air will launch a daily Brussels to Budapest service from 1 June 2020. This service will be operated by newly delivered Airbus A.321neo aircraft.

Belgian companies sign F.35 contracts
During the annual Sanicole airshow on 15 September 2019 two Belgian compagnies, Sabca and Ilias Solutions, signed a contract with Lockheed Martin. These contracts are related to the Belgian Air Force order for 34 Lockheed Martin F.35 fighters.
Sabca will construct certain parts and will be involved in the maintenance of these new aircraft. Ilias Solutions is a company specialising in logistic software solutions.

First aircraft for Air Antwerp registered

On 25/07/2019 the ex VLM Fokker F50, OO-VLS, was registered in the name of Air Antwerp on the Belgian civil register. The aircraft arrived at Antwerp airport on 27/07/2019 and will remain there a couple of days for training purposes. It is painted in the airline's colourfull livery, with a stilized hand as logo. This hand makes the link with Antwerp and it's famous Brabo statue.
The aircraft will return by the end of August and will participate in the static display on 7 & 8 September.

(photo: Paul Soons)
2nd Pilatus PC.24 for NextGen
On behalf of an undisclosed client, NexGen Aviation has signed for a 2nd Pilatus PC-24 to join their fleet during 2020.
TUI Fly Pilot Academy

In 2017 TUI Fly founded its Pilot Academy which proposes a unique course to become first officer after 39 months at a low rate. TUI invested more than a million euro in the academy.
New ownership for Brussels Airport

The Australian investment company Macquarie sold its shares in Brussels Airport to another Australian investor, QIC, the insurance company Swiss Life and the Dutch pension fund APG. According to some unofficial sources they paid about 2 billion Euros.
The Canadian pension fund OTPP remains the largest shareholder (39%) followed by the Belgian government. APG and QIC both acquired 16.8 %. Swiss Life owns 2.4 % of the total shares in Brussels Airport
Brussels Airlines leases two Czech Airlines Airbus A.319’s
The summer schedule will start on 31th March. From this date Brussels Airlines will operate two Airbus A.319’s leased from Czech Airlines. These aircraft will operate the scheduled flights to Boedapest, Praag and Toulouse. This lease will continue till the end of June.

Annual European biz-aircraft ranking
Belgium takes the 11th place in the annual biz-aircraft ranking published by BART International. According to this study a total of 104 aircraft is operated from Belgium. This number can be split into 59 bizjets and 45 turboprop aircraft. Leading European country is (again) Germany with 750 aircraft. Unsurprisingly the U.S.A. is the world’s number one country for biz-aircraft with an amazing 21.339 airframes.

Air Belgium flights to Hong Kong abandonned

Air Belgium announces that they will not re-activate their flights to Hong Kong on March 31st, 2019.
They will now focus on the mainland of China, starting this summer and the USA starting in Winter 2019.
Additional Ryanair service at Brussels South Charleroi
Ryanair announced that it will fly from Brussels South Charleroi Airport to Beziers Cap d’Agde in southern France from 2 april 2019. This service will be flown three times per week. Ryanair now offers flights to 12 destinations in France from Brussels South Charleroi. These are Bergerac, Biarritz, Bordeaux, Carcassonne, Figari, La Rochelle, Marseille, Nimes, Perpignan, Rodez and Toulouse.
TUI fly Belgium will operate Airbus A.320’s
During the coming three years, TUI fly Belgium will lease four Airbus A.320’s from the Estonian carrier SmartLynx. Last year they already used three of their aircraft during the summer season. TUI Fly was pleased with the cooperation and will use an additional SmartLynx A.320. These aircraft can seat 180 passengers.
New hall for Aerocircular

Aerocircular, the company that dismantled the last VLM Fokker 50 at Antwerp, is to build a new hall at Ostend airport.After completion of the first fase (the construction of the concrete carrying surface), Aerocircular will construct a steel fabric structural hall of 4500 sqm where two narrow body aircraft can be placed at the same time and dismantled indoors. The goal is to dismantle 25 aircraft per year.

ASL Group orders 2 Sonaca 200 training aircraft

ASL Group offers private and charter flights through Europe. Together with JetNetherlands, the group operates 30 aircraft ranging from 4 to 30 passengers.
The group also owns a maintenance organisation based at Rotterdam and founded, very recently, an ATO training organisation. The group wants to expand its pilot training facilities (ab initio) and specific training focused on bizjet operations. In order to support his activity ASL group ordered two Sonaca 200 aircraft. With this order the company supports this Belgian designed new training aircraft. The operational and maintenance costs of the Sonaca 200 were also instrumental in this choice.
The two aircraft will be ‘Sonaca 200 Trainer Pro’ aircraft fitted with Garmin G500 TXI – first delivery is planned for Oktober 2019.

From Brussels to Porto with Air Portugal
Air Portugal announced that it will start a twice daily service between Brussels Airport and Porto from 1 July 2019. The morning flight will leave at 11.10 hrs local time. The evening connection at 21.45 hrs. All flights will be operated with Embraer Emb.190 aircraft.
Brussels Airlines adapts luggage rules on African destinations
Brussels Airlines reduces the number of bags on their flights to African destinations. Ecomony passagers can check in only one bag.
Passengers who want to take more luggage with them, will have to buy a more expensive ticket.
Tickets with one piece of luggage are for sale for 17 African destinations. Prices start at 385 euros.

Over 34 million passengers travelled safely thanks to skeyes
In 2018 skeyes, the national air navigation service provider, guided 1,101,145 aircraft in the Belgian airspace and at the Belgian airports. For the first time in history skeyes managed more than 600,000 overflights above our country and Luxembourg. All together more than 34 million passengers and around 1.6 million tons of cargo are concerned. Those too are record numbers.

Record number of passengers for Brussels Airport

Brussels Airport handled a record 25.7 milj. passengers during 2018. That is 3.6 % more than in 2017. The number of long-haul destinations went up and this explains an important part of this result. The replacement of the Avro RJ.100 by the larger Airbus A.320 in the Brussels Airlines fleet realised the rise on European destinations.
The number of passengers travelling from Brussels Airport went up with 4.3%. 18% of the total were transfert-passengers.













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