Start-Ups Air Belgium opens Brussels South Airport base

  • Air Belgium

Air Brussels has announced to commence operations from its new base at Brussels South Airport in March.

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Belgium’s start-up carrier Air Belgium has revealed plans to commence operations from Brussels South Airport (Charleroi). The carrier plans to connect the airport with Hong Kong, as a first destination. Therefore, a first Airbus A340-300 will arrive in mid-February.  Additional destinations like Shanghai and Beijing could follow in the next months.

“Brussels South convinced us due to its very successful development and commitment to major investments and improvements of its infrastructures”, says Niky Terzakis, CEO of Air Belgium. “The airport is well established and attracts millions of travelers among which 60% are international passengers and 31% are business travelers. We are convinced that our passengers will benefit from a great service, especially because Brussels South is starting to adjust its current infrastructure.”

The airport will be changing its infrastructure in such a way that it will be able to welcome Air Belgium and its growing fleet of four A340-400 airplanes.

 “We’re very pleased Air Belgium has chosen our airport,” says Jean-Jacques Cloquet, CEO at Brussels South Airport. “Being able to welcome a company such as Air Belgium on our apron allows us to switch to a new strategy and further strengthen our international position. With the first direct long-distance flights to Asia, the Far East has never been closer. We look forward to welcoming future passengers and meeting their every need.”

Air Belgium is a Belgian airline for low cost long-haul flights that will be offering direct flights between Belgium and Asia from the first half of 2018. In a statement, Air Belgium says it will will have a starting capital of 20 million euros, divided among Belgian and European majority shareholders and Asian minority shareholders.

Charleroi is Brussels second airport with over 7 million passengers in 2016. The airport is currently used by low cost carriers like Ryanair, Wizz Air, Pegasus Airlines and TUIfly Belgium. Air Belgium could become the first airline offering long-haul flights from Charleroi and has to compete with several airlines offering flights from Brussels main airport to Asian destinations. Beside the Middle East carriers Emirates, Etihad and Emirates, which offer connection flights to Asian destinations via their hubs in the Gulf area, Hainan Airlines connects Brussels Airport with Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen in China. As Brussels Airlines is currently focusing on flights to North American and African destinations, flights from Charleroi to Asian destinations could be a market niche.

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