The end of an era is near...
morning the last but one VLM Fokker 50 left Antwerp for its new base at Malmö
where it will join the Amaploa fleet and fly scheduled services on behalf of
Braathens. The last airworthy Fokker, OO-VLS, will leave Antwerp on Tuesday
The remaining airframe of OO-VLO will be broken up and the cabin section will be
used by the Federal police to train their "drug dogs".
Emirates recruits Belgian cabin crews
based carrier Emirates is actively looking for Belgian cabin crews. They
organise two recruitment sessions. One in Brussel on 28 November and a second in
Antwerpen on 17 December. More information on
New Antwerp-London City service in pipe-line
to a recent article in "Het laatste Nieuws" there will be a new Antwerp-London
City service in th ebeginning of 2019. At present it has not been disclosed
which airline will pick-up this 25 year old service after the VLM debacle.
Marcel Buelens, Antwerp's CEO, hopes to be able to announce that mid-December.
Belgocontrol ceases to exist
year Belgocontrol celebrates its twentieth anniversary. In the course of those
two decades, and especially in the last few years, the national air navigation
service provider underwent some major changes.
now its new corporate culture will be clearly expressed through a new corporate
identity: Belgocontrol will change its name to Skeyes. More info on
Georges Van Belleghem deceased
were just informed that during the night our ex vice-chairman and Aeronews editor
Georges Van Bellghem has died at the age of 81. Georges has been in a home for
the last three years and was suffering from bad health. Nevertheless this news
comes as a shock and earlier than we expected.
Blue skies mate
New destinations from Antwerp Airport
Airlines announced three new destinations from Antwerp Airport: Tanger (Maroc),
Lublin (Poland) and Enfidha (Tunesia)
The services to Malaga and Alicante will be flown 5 times per week but the
service to Barcelona will be stopped
New investment at Antwerp Airport
the recent VLM setback fresh in our minds, there is now some positive news for
Antwerp based Flying Group is investing 1,5 million euro’s in the construction
of a new building. Flying Groups is operating 45 aircraft, of which 15 are based
at Antwerp. Bernard Van Milders, the company’s CEO is a firm believer in the
future of Antwerp airport, which shoiws in the recent developments.
Spottersplatform temporarily closed
spotterplatform 25L/07R at Brussels airport will be closed to the public on
Sunday 23/09 between 12:00 and 18:00 due to a manifestation.
The platform 01/19 remains open.
VLM over and out, but not Antwerp airport
my holidays VLM decided to stop all activities and sell out. Three Fokkers had
already left Antwerp for their new home in Sweden.
The three remaining aircraft are still at Antwerp airport but have been
confiscated pending liquidation of the company.
The disappearance of VLM is not a serious blow for Antwerp airport as most of
the passengers are handled by TUI. It does make a lot of difference in number of
flights, as the Fokkers flew on and off all day long. This makes a difference in
noise and traffic over the neighbouring areas, but instead of being happy about
it, the anti-airport lobby is now suggesting to close down the airport
completely. According to them the bankruptcy of VLM proves that the airport has
no future; thus forgoing the fact that there are still the TUI and Flybe
services and the business flights. All arguments are good as long as they serve
VLM to cease regular services
has announced that they will cease all regular services except the London City
and Zurich connections.
The services will be faded out as follows:
In future VLM will be doing charters and ACMI flights.
Belgian Air Force Pembroke at AerVenture 2018
a stand trading used aircraft parts at AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 former Belgian
Air Force Pembroke RM01 is offered for sale. It still carries the U.S.
registration N53973. The present owner brought the fuselage to Oshkosh,
Wisconsin. He recovered the aircraft from Bradley Airport, Connecticut. The
dismantled aircraft, reported complete, is offered for 20.000 $. The same man
recently also bought the former RM9, a Pembroke stored for several years at
Anoka Airport near Minneapolis and painted as N510RP.
(photo Bob Rongé)
VLM's new CEO
Johan Maertens (46) has been appointed as the new CEO for VLM, replacing COO
Carl Runge. Previously Mr. Maertens has been working for Brussels Airlines and
ECAir and other companies.
Air Belgium will fly to Hong Kong
another setback last month, Air Belgium now finally has permission to fly over
Russian territory. On June 3rd, the company will launch its first flight to Hong
Jozef 'Jos' Ghoos deceased
just received news that the ex-airport commander Jozef 'Jos' Ghoos
(3/5/1929-12/5/2018) died on Saturday last.
Jos was commander at Antwerp Airport between 1966 and 1991.
He was a great supporter of our society and it was a pleasure to have worked
with him on several occasions and exhibitions.
Jos, we wish you blue skies.
The Aviation Press Club has nominated
Jean-Jacques Cloquet - CEO Brussels South Charleroi Airport as Man of the Year
(photograph : Eric Nuyens)
After about 55 years another Belgian registered Spitfire is flying !!
On Sunday, 06 May 2018 pilot/owner Kris Van Den Bergh made the first flight of
his Spitfire Mk XVI – OO-XVI – from Brasschaat airfield. He made about five
circuits over the airfield closely monitored by F.A.S.T.-boss Frederic
Vormezeele from the back-seat of the T.28 Trojan flown by Peter ‘Celle’ Celis.
Kris made a smooth landing on the rather small runway closing a very important
moment for Belgian civil aviation. The last flight of a Belgian registered
Spitfire took place more than 55 years ago when COGEA retired their civil
registered Spitfires that operated as target-tugs from Ostend Airport.
Left to right : T28 pilot
Peter’Celle’ Celis, Spitfire owner and pilot Kris Van Den Bergh and F.A.S.T.
boss Frederic Vormezeele
(photo's : Bob Rongé)
Antwerp-Firenze schedule operational
Fly has started its new summer schedule and opened the new destination :
This service will be flown twice weekly.
As is customary the aircraft got a greeting from the airport's firebrigade.
Our die-hard colleagues Eddy Campers and Jef Pets got a free shower in the
(photo : Hugo De Backer)
Airport is ready to receive a record number of passengers during the Easter
holidays. In two weeks’ time, the airport will receive more than 1.3 million
passengers, 5% more than last year. To help passengers get into the holiday
mood, Brussels Airport will be handing out Easter eggs and opens a spring
terrace in front of the departure hall as well as a playground in Connector.
New Brussels-Hong Kong service
Pacific today operated its first ever flight from Brussels Airport to Hong Kong.
The only non-stop service connecting the Belgian capital with the airline’s
dynamic home city, Flight CX338 departed Brussels on time at 13.10 with a full
complement of passengers.
Prior to the departure of Flight CX338, a gate ceremony was organised in
celebration of the landmark occasion.
(photo : Yves Deliens)
The Aerosmurf has arrived
A pintjob of 14 days, resulted in Brussels Airlines' 5 special design : the
The design by Marta Mascellani was chosen by the jury out of 1415 proposals. The
aircraft, Airbus A.320 OO-SND is back in operational service as from 25/03/2018.
(photo : Jonas Evrard)
Brussels Airport records new passenger record for the month of February
Airport received more than 1.6 million travellers in February 2018, an increase
of 5.4% compared to the same month the previous year and a continuation of the
growth in the last months of 2017. Cargo traffic at Brussels Airport has also
increased. Indeed, flown and trucked cargo grew by 0.8% against the same month
Sanicole Airshow receives Ann Vanderhagen Award.
During the European Airshow Convention at Antwerpen last week, the
organisors of the Sanicole Airshow received the Ann Verhagen Award for the
innovative caracter of their annual airshow at Leopoldsburg airfield.
Last year the organisation celebrated its 40th anniversary.
The award was attributed because
of the annual Sunset Airshow, a unique event in Europe and very much appreciated
by the public as well as the participating pilots.
The end of the VLM Airbuses
SHS Aviation, the holding above VLM Airlines is selling of the activities at
Brussels Airport, also known as VLM Airlines Brussels. Nearly a year ago SHS
Aviation bought the remains of Thomas Cook Arlines (personnel and 2 Airbus A320)
and was planning to fly charters or lease the aircraft.
It is now announced that these activities have been sold to a Dutch investor. It
is also stated that nothing will change for the personnel, but it is not yet
clear whether the name VLM Airlines Brussels will be used in the new setup.
This will have no effect on the VLM Airlines activities at Antwerp airport and
Great start of the year
January, Brussels Airport received 1.6 million passengers, an all-time record
for the month of January. Strong growth was recorded particularly in the
transfer segment, which demonstrates the importance of Brussels Airport’s hub
function within Star Alliance. Cargo transport was 2.7% up on January 2017. The
decrease in the full-freighter segment is compensated by an increase in trucked
cargo, belly cargo, and integrator cargo.
Final curtain for Brussels Airlines?
future of Brussels Airlines is threatened as next Monday Lufthansa will most
probably decide to replace BA's CEO Bernard Gustin. Also in the pipeline is the
fact they want to merge Brussels Airlines with their low-cost company Eurowings.
This would mean that the Brussels Airlines brand would disappear and that the
future of the Brussels Airlines staff becomes most uncertain, resulting most
porbably in the loss of a lot of jobs.
Years after the Sabena debacle by Swiss, our country now again faces a similar
situation now created by the Germans. In French they say : "l'histoire se
répète". Have our politicians learned nothing?
1st Boeing 737 MAX
Today TUIFly saw the arrival of their newest aircraft and first Boeing B737MAX.
By the end of 2018 the TUI fleet will count 9 aircraft of this type. The new
model has a reduction of 14% of CO2 and 40% of noice reduction.
(photograph Eric Nuyens)
Arthur White deceased
We just got the news that former owner and CEO of VLM airlines, Arthur White,
The funeral was today at his hometown Namur.
Looking for new colleagues
fly, Belgium's second largest airline, will expand its number of destinations
and frequencies in 2018. Five brandnew aircraft will also be added to the fleet,
making a total of 33 aircraft.
In order to be able to have a succesful expansion, TUI fly is now looking for
extra staff: 160 cabin crew, 64 pilots and 23 engineers.
More info on
Additional MDDH MD.900 heli for the Federal Police
Belgian Federal Police will add an additional MDDH MD.900 NOTAR helicopter to
the fleet. This airframe will be their seventh heli . this aircraft comes from
Noordzee Helikopters Vlaanderen (NHV) where it flies as OO-NHI. It operated for
some time on a medevac contract in France.
conversion to its new law enforcement role it will normally become G-17.
First Belgian Air Force C.130 retired
week the first Lockheed C.130H Hercules – CH08 – was retired from active
service. The aircraft was ferried from Melsbroek to Beauvechain AFB. It is not
clear what will happen with this airframe.
The Air Force still awaits the delivery of the first Airbus A.400 that will
replace the aging C.130H transport aircraft. We recently heard a rumour that the
first of these aircraft will only arrive somewhere in 2020 !
(photograph Georges Van Belleghem)
New record for Brussels Airport
before Christmas the airport welcomed the 24 millionthpassenger of 2017. Never
before have so many passengers flown to and from Brussels Airport.
Moreover, Brussels Airport made every effort to create a suitably festive
atmosphere throughout the airport. Other than the traditional Christmas trees,
lights and other Christmas decorations, the gigantic bauble in the outdoor area
in front of the departure hall is a real eye-catcher. This bauble, with a
diameter of 6 metres, is actually a big globe which refers to the many
destinations passengers can travel to from Brussels Airport. Before entering the
departure hall, passengers can stop for a typical Belgian beers at the Christmas
Chalet on the temporary Winter Terrace. In the baggage reclaim hall, arriving
passengers can make their wait for their luggage more pleasant by playing their
favourite Christmas carols through the loudspeakers of a jukebox. Passengers can
also listen to Christmas piano concerts in the Connector building, which are
sometimes accompanied by a choir.
Sonaca 200 to be assembled at Temploux aerodrome !
Sonaca Aircraft and Aerodrome de Namur signed an agreement that will result in
the final assembly of the Sonaca 200 light aircraft at this airport.
As a result of this contract a new hangar will appear and a hard runway will be
constructed at this airport. This new runway will be a little bit shorter than
the actual runway and will reduce the noise because aircraft will be able to
climb faster after take-off. A parallel grass runway will remain in service.
If everything goes as planned the construction of the new facility will start in
Sonaca plans to deliver
about 20 aircraft during 2018. These airframes will be assembled at their
Charleroi facility. Today they have more than 30 firm orders, even before
obtaining final certification.
Early Christmas present
20 children from Antwerp received a free flight to and visit of Legoland in the
UK. VLM Arirlines offered the flight to Farnborough on one of their Fokker 50's
and Legoland gave them free entry. This was all done with the cooperation of
Antwerp Airport management and Antwerp Fly Shop.
Growth continues through November
month over 1.8 million passengers travelled via Brussels Airport. This is an
increase of 5.1% compared to the same month last year. This is mainly due to the
continuing growth of passengers with Brussels Airlines, but also due to the new
services by Emirates, Hainan and Delta.
Cargo transport in November recorded a 9.4% growth on November 2016.
New Groningen to Brussels service
carrier Nordica will start a service from Groningen/Eelde Airport in Friesland
(Holland) to Brussels using Bombardier CRJ aircraft.
This service will start on 26 March 2018 and will be flown daily, six days per
New destinations for Brussels Airlines
Airlines is expanding its destinations in Croatia: as from May 12th, the cities
of Zadar and Split will also be serviced.
Renewed contract for Swissport
Airlines has renewed its handling contract with Swissport for a period of 3
years. This contract is good for 60% of the total volume handled by Swissport at
Brussels Airport and crusial for the company's future
Additional Wizz Air service at Charleroi
Air will start a new service from June 2018 betwene Charleroi and Sibiu in
Romania.Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, a popular destination for tourists.
This service will be offered twice weekly.
Join the Fairchild C.119 project
‘De Vrienden van het Lucht- en ruimtevaartmuseum vzw’ runs an appeal to reopen
the interior of the Fairchild C.119 Flying Boxcar for visitors.
preserved in the ‘Hall de l’Air’ of what is now called the ‘War Heritage
Institute (WHI)’ is actually closed for the public for security and preservation
The project, put forward with support of the WHI, consists of the creation of a
corridor for visitors and a defined area with photographic exhibits and object
recalling operations undertaken by the C.119 Flying Boxcar. The budget for this
project is 27.600 euros. The group launched an appeal for donations with the
objective to open the aircraft at the end of 2018.
The appeal runs in cooperation with the Koning Boudewijnstichting and donations
over 40 Euros are tax-deductable. Donations can be done via bankaccount BE10
0000 0000 0404 of the Koning Boudewijnstichting with structured communication
VLM 10x weekly to Zurich
from January 22nd, 2018, VLM Will fly twice daily between Antwerp and Zurich on
weekdays. Tickets are available from now on, starting at 99eur (single fare).
Departures Antwerp 7h15 and 17h35. Return Zurich 9h25 and 20h00. Flighttime 1h40
RAAC becomes 90 years young !!
Royal Antwerp Aviation club celebrates its 90th birthday this year.
The RAAC modeling section exists for 65 years.
Today, Sunday 19/11/17, the RAAC members were invited by the Antwerp City
counsel in the Felixpakhuis to commemorate this very special birthday.
We would like to
congratulate the R.A.A.C. and its members and wish them many more happy flights
Stampe SV.4-RS also certified in Belgium
On 16th November 2017
Ultralight Concept Gmbh received confirmation that their ultralight Stampe SV.4
aircraft is certified by the Belgian C.A.A.
This means that this
aircraft is now allowed to fly under the Belgian Ultralight-rules with Belgian
Spotters places at Brussels Airport
for the construction of the spotters places at Steenokkerzeel and Zaventem
(Vliegbos) have been granted. Construction will start as soon as possible and
should/could be finished by April 2018.
Passenger growth for Brussels Airlines
October Brussels Airlines saw an increase of 15,1% of passengers. In total
865.673 people flew on a Brussels Airlines flight. This also means an increase
of 3,9% on passenger capacity per flight.
Ultralight Stampe SV.4-RS certified in France !
Ultralight Concept, the Belgian company that developed the ultralight Stampe
SV.4-RS received a type Certificate for their new ultralight from de French DGAC.
This is a major step forward for the company and their aircraft.
Certification in Belgium and Germany is expected in the very near future !
Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium ceased operations
Friday, 27/10/2017 Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium ceased all operations as
announced several months ago. Most flights will be flown by Brussels Airlines
that will also add some Airbus A.320’s to its fleet. Two other Airbus A.320
aircraft are acquired by SHS Aviation, the company controlling VLM Airlines.
VLM Antwerp-London back in business
Today at 11:55 the new Antwerp-London service by VLM was inaugurated. Fokker 50
OO-VLI was got a fitting tribute by the airport's firebrigade when it left
for its first trip to London City. VLM is again operating the service under its
own name, after 8 years of abscence.
Meanwhile we hear that the company has bought two of the ex-Thomas Cook
Airbuses and is planning services to Chinese destinations out of Brussels
New destinations for TUI
the new 2018 Summer Schedule, TUI announces fligths from Antwerp to Florence
The Brussels hub of the company is adding two destination : Aruba and Curaçao.
19/10/2017 Brussels Airlines opens up the
April 20th 2018, Brussels Airlines will offer weekly flight to Kalamata in
Ten new destinations for Brussels
Airlines keeps on growing. During the winterseason 10 new destinations will be
added to the network and capacity on certain routes will grow due to the use of
VLM to reopen the Antwerp-London line
a break of more than 9 years, VLM Ailrines (now owned by SHS Antwerp Aviation)
has announced that it will re-open the Antwerp-London City service. Earlier
CityJet, which now operates the route, announced that as per 27/10 they will
stop the service.
VLM will start operating on 30/10. The company will use its Slovenian AOC, as
the Belgian one is still not given by the Belgian CAA. Tickets can now be
A scheduled service between Antwerp and Zurich is also in the pipeline.
First firm orders for
the Sonaca 200
Now that the Sonaca 200 prototype, OO-NEW, is flying, Sonaca started converting
order options into firm orders. The first to do so is Belgian Flight School (B.F.S.)
André Muller, pilot with B.F.S. declared : ‘The OO-NEW seems to be the exact
copy of the OO-SON. But actually, numerous structural modifications make it
different from its twin.
The field of vision is simply awesome. Nothing to do with the limited vision of
some high-wing aircraft. A major asset in terms of safety. On ground, taxiing is
east. During flight, the aircraft is pleasant to fly, with smooth controls,
reactive and direct responsive in all axes.
All in all, the Sonaca 200 appears very promising and ideal as a training
New : Brussels-Hongkong
Pacific continues to grow Hong Kong’s connections to the world. From Summer
2018, the airline will launch pioneering non-stop routes linking Hong Kong with
Brussels, Dublin and Copenhagen, further strengthening the airline’s network and
providing new trade and tourism opportunities between Asia and Europe.
40th Sanicole Airshow
The Aeroclub Sanciole organises
their 40th international Airshow. The evening airshow will take place on Friday
8th September. The main event on Sunday 10th September.
This year several military demo teams will be flying over Sanicole.
Top of the bill will be
the Saudi Hawks demoteam. Also the Frecci Tricolori will be present as well as
aircraft from the Finnish and the Greek Air Force.
New owner for Namur airfield
The airfield of Namur/Temploux which was created by the American Army in 1944
and has been a civil airfield ever since 1947, was privatised in 1983 when
bought by the Bertrand family.
They recently sold the company that exploits the airfield to Olivier de
Spoelbergh (who also owns part of the INBEV group).
Brussels South Airport keeps growing
the first six months of 2017, Charleroi/Brussels South Airport handled almost
3.6 milj. passengers. That is a 3% rise compared to last year when the airport
was very busy after the closure of Brussels Airport due to the terrorist attack.
The number of passengers
traveling via Brussels South grew thanks to two new airlines (Air Corsica and
Belavia) and an additional TUIFly aircraft based at the airport.
Record number of passengers at Brussels Airport
the first six months of 2017 Brussels Airport handled 11.5 milj. passengers.
This is a new record !
This result is 6,3 % higher than during the first part of 2015. Last year’s
numbers are not used due to the terrorist attacks from March 2016. The number of
transfert passengers rose with 18,8 %.
During June 2017 2,22 milj. passengers used Brussels airport. This also is a new
Emirates launches second daily flight between Brussel and Dubai
of 29 October, the airline Emirates is set to run a second daily flight between
Brussels Airport and Dubai International Airport. Flights to Dubai are enjoying
rising success, which prompted the airline to increase its capacity in Brussels.
The first Emirates flight from Brussels to Dubai will be departing at 3.05 pm,
with the second flight scheduled for take-off at 8.15 pm.
Foreign permit aircraft allowed to operate in Belgium.
After issuing a full CofA to the Belgian registered Stampe SV.4’s in
November last year, the Belgian C.A.A. took another important decision which
gives more freedom to the Belgian General Aviation scene. As from 1st
July foreign registered amateur built aircraft as well as certain historic
aircraft (less than 5.700 kg) registered in a ECAC-member state (ECAC = European
Civil Aviation Conference) no longer require a permit to fly in Belgian airspace
for 30 days per year.
This decision recognizes the quality, safety and capability of national permit
aircraft within the General aviation community. As well as allowing such
aircraft to cross Belgium territory it will encourage visits specifically to
Belgium. We are looking forward to see more foreign aircraft visiting our
This new rule is a result of the close cooperation between the Belgian CAA,
EFLEVA (European Federation of Light, Experimental & Vintage Aircraft) and VVMV
(Vereniging Vlaamse MotorVliegclubs)
Good results for Brussels Airlines
May 2017 more than 830.000 passengers flew on a Brussels Airlines aircraft. That
is 18,9% more than in the same month last year. At that moment the company was
still recovering from the terrorist attack at Brussels Airport. But, according
to Brussels Airlines, this is not the only factor that explains this strong
growth. The successful commercial strategy results in more passengers.
The new route to Mumbai (India)
is also doing ‘very well’ as well as the cargo-activities.
31/05/2017 SHS takes over remaining part of
Thomas Cook Belgium
Aviation has reached an agreement to take over all remaining shares of Thomas
Cook Airlines Belgium (TCAB). The company will also employ the remaining staff
(40) and hopes to be able to use the AOC and Operating Licence of TCAB. SHS
Aviation will operate under the VLM Airlines brand.
Earlier this month VLM Airlines started operating charter flight under the newly
acquired Slovenian AOC.
FlyingGroup received Diamond Safety of Flight Award
the recent EBACE17 convention at Geneve Flying Group received a
Diamond Safety of Flight Award from the European Business Aviation Association
(EBAA). This accolade is awarded to operators that surpass 100.000 hours of
flying without any accident.
Currently FlyingGroup operates and maintains 43 aircraft world-wide.
"After having received the EBAA Gold Safety of Flight Award in 2014 we are very
proud to now having been awarded with the EBAA
Safety of Flight Award." says Bernard Van Milders, President & Founder of
FLYINGGROUP. "This is currently the highest safety recognition awarded by EBAA
and we are one of the first companies to receive it "
Easyjet Brussels Team honored
The Brussels Team of lowcost
carrier Easyjet did a great job during 2016. They received the Spirit of Easyjet
2015 award and are honored on the nose of Airbus A.319 – HB-JYJ – that was
recently noted at Geneva Airport.
Pegasus Airlines to fly to Ankara
Turkish company Pegasus has announced that they will start flying once a week
between Brussels South Charleroi and Ankara on a direct flight.At present they
fly into Istanbul .
Brussels airport increase in fright volume
February 2017, Brussels Airport welcomed over 1.5 million passengers, which is a
decrease of 0.4% on February 2016, owing to the leap day. Without the leap day
effect, the number of passengers would have shown an increase of 3%. Cargo
transport at Brussels Airport rose by 7.7% compared with the same month last
year, due to the strong growth in the full freighter segment.
4th special livery for Brussels Airlines
Ever since 2012 Brussels Airlines has a special relation with Tomorrowland. To
mark this 5 year relationship, Brussels Airlines created Amare, the 4th Airbus
in special livery.
We wish Brussels Airlines a Happy 15th Birthday.
Airlinews was created in 2002 in the aftermath of the Sabena bankcrupty in 2001.
Over the last 15 years, nearly 79 million passengers used the Belgian airline:
70 million within Europe, 8 million on the African services and 1 million on the
Vizion Air signs agreement with SprintAir
based Vizion Air has signed an agreement with the Polish company SprintAir for
cooperation. This agreement stipulates that SprintAir will reserve two of its
aircraft (ATR72 and Saab340) for use by Vizion Air.
The ATR72 is to be based at Liège, whilst the Saab 340 will have Bergamo as
The agreement starts on Ferbuary 1st, 2017.
SSJ-100 for Brussels Airlines
Airlines is to wet-lease three Sukhoi SSJ-100 Superjets to replace its Avro
RJ100's on services where smaller aircraft than the Airbus 320's are needed. The
aircraft will be leased from CityJet.
All time high for Antwerp Airport
2016, more than 276.000 passengers passed through Antwerp Airport. This is an
all time high. Last time we had over 270.000 passengers was back in 2001.
All this means that there was an increase of 24% in passengers. Some 20.000
passengers flew via Antwerp in the aftermath of the Brussels attacks. The loss
of VLM flights and charters played a negative part in the story.
The end is near...
Fokker 50, OO-VLO, being broken up at Antwerp airport, has nearly come to its
end. The aircraft is taken apart piece by piece. Some parts will go to Amapola
Flyd as spares for their fleet of 20 Fokker 50's. The rest of the aircraft will
be recycled by Aerocircular who is executing the job.
(photo Walter Van Brempt)
Brussels Airlines best Trans-atlantic airline
on feedback from their readers, the American periodic Global Traveler has
nomated Brussels Airlines as the world's best Trans-atlantic airline.
Changing of the fleet
Airlines is changing 7 of it's A330 long-haul aircraft. The first aircraft has
left the fleet and the first two younger ones have already been taken in
service. This is the biggest renewal project in the company's existence. It is
also the first time that the company will exploit long-haul aircraft that are
fully owned and not leased.
New cargo-flights at Brussels Airport
Sunday 18 November 2018 Avianca Cargo launched a new cargo service from Miami to
Brussels. They mainly carry flowers on their
A.330F aircraft. This service will be flown twice weekly on Friday and Sunday.
Earlier this month Turkish Cargo started a regular service to Brussels Airport.
This company also uses Airbus A.330 aircraft.
9% increase in passengers at Charleroi
announced an increase of 9% in passengers during October 2018 versus October
In Summer 2019, TUI fly will start operating a service between Brussels South
Belgian registered Hawker Hurricane is flying !
On Sunday afternoon, 4 November 2018, Frederique Vormezeele performed
the first flight with the Belgian registered Hawker Hurricane Mk.IV - OO-HUR –
from Brasschaat. The aircraft was imported from Canada earlier this year.
F.A.S.T. bvba assembled the aircraft and fitted it with an overhauled engine and
a new propellor. This unique aircraft on the Belgian aircraft register will
later operate from Antwerp Airport
End of the Brussels-Mombai service
Airlines has announced that after 6/1/2019, they will no longer be serving
Mombai as a destination.
They will now invest more on their African network. This with 3 additional
flights to Banjul (Gambia) and 3 non-stop flights to Dakar weekly.
VLM Fokkers the end of an era...
weeks ago one of VLM Fokker (OO-VLJ) was sold of to Amapora in Sweden. This week
a second Fokker (OO-VLZ) was flown to Sweden with a third one (OO-VLN) to follow
suit. A fourth Fokker (OO-VLO) will be scrapped at Antwerp airport
New services at Antwerp Airport?
Flylanova ltd is a privately-owned, limited liability company based in Geneva
and founded by aviation and finance professionals. The company is registered
with the Geneva Commercial Registry since November 2017.
According to their website www.flylanova.com
they are planning twice daily services between Geneva and Antwerp.
Return flights are priced at over 700eur.
If and when this service will become operational in February 2019, remains to be
Christian Heinzmann deceased
Airlines CEO Christian Heinzmann (65) died today at his home in Luxemburg, after
a long illness. Heinman also worked for Constellation, Tarom, Sobelair, Albanian
Airlines and Luxair.
25 years Antwerpen-London City
15th, 1993 saw the first VLM-service Antwerp-London City. All today's passengers
received a special gift box with Belgian chocolates as a momento.
North Sea Air Festival – a free airshow over the beach at Knokke-Heist
Saturday 21 July an airshow will be organised over the coastline at
Knokke-Heist. This free event will start at 18.00 hrs and will include the
Breitling Jet Team flying their Aero L.39 Albatros jets and the iconic Boeing
B.17 ‘Sally B’. Several aerobatic acts will also participate.
This event is organised by the Sanicole Airshow Team. More info and the
complete airshow schedule will be published on
Three new routes for VLM
VLM announced today that they will start three new routes out of Antwerp:
Aberdeen (3x/weekly), Köln-Bonn and Rostock (5x/weekly) as from June 4th.
Another new service out of Antwerp Airport
re-launched its Antwerp-Birmingham service, which will be flown every weekday.
At the same time, the Antwerp-Munich scheduled was doubled to 2 times daily. A
morning and an evening flight should make it possible for business men to go and
return turn the same day, avoiding the necessity of a stay overnight.
New service at Antwerp Airport
from today the scheduled service between Antwerp and Southend will be relaunched
by Stobart Air. The journey will be flown by ATR aircraft in Flybe colours.
(photo : Dirk Buytaert)
Air Belgium's AOC
Belgiums at last obtained its AOC. First flights are planned for mid April.
Tickets will be on sale in the next couple of days.
Belgium ranks 10 th in European biz-aviation survey
According to the recent BART biz aviation fleet report, Belgium occupies
the 10th place in Europe when we look at the number of business aircraft
operated (jets as well as turboprops). Last year 102 airframes were operated
and/or registered in Belgium according to this survey (62 jets and 40
If we want to climb in this ranking we have to pass Portugal which took place 9
with 128 aircraft. Leader in this markt-segment is Germany with 726 aircraft !!
No Groningen to Brussels Service
Estonian carrier Nordica will not start the Groningen to Brussels service that
was announced some months ago. It seems that there is not enough interest for
New scheduled service
launched its new Antwerp-München-Maribor service. At the moment there only is a
morning flight. On March 26th, at the start of the summerseason, the service
will be extended with an evening flight. This
brings the total destinations out of Antwerp to three. Later in the season
Birmingham and Manchester will also be added to the network.
(Copyright Eric Nuyens)
Brussels Airlines future threatened
Monday Brussels Airlines CEO Bernard Gustin is called to frankfurt, newspapers
and social media mention
that this will be to end his contract.
Bernard Gustin, whose turnaround of Brussels Airlines has been lauded
internationally, and Lufthansa did not have the same views for several weeks.
The Belgian boss wanted to maintain his successful “hybrid” model, while the
Germans intend to integrate the European network of Brussels Airlines into their
subsidiary Eurowings while keeping the African flights operated by Brussels
By signing this
PETITION you let Lufthansa know that you strongly disagree with their
30th of January, Airports of Thailand and Liege Airport signed a Sistership
Agreement between Liege Airport and Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi airport.
This Sistership Agreement between both airports, major cargo players in Asia and
Europe, is a pledge to exchange expertise and knowhow, with focus on cargo
development. The signing ceremony took place at Asia Air Cargo Summit, where the
international cargo community is gathering.
The Sistership Agreement is a first step towards a close cooperation between all
the airports to develop cargo flows. A special focus is given to the development
of perishable facilities and processes, to seamlessly connect the Asean and the
European market in both directions.
Official opening of Zurich link
Airlines started today with its second destination out of Antwerp: Zurich. The
flight was officially opened by the mayor of Antwerp Bart De Wever, in the
company of the CEO's of Antwerp Airport and SHS Aviation/FlyVLM.
Next destinations that will be added to the network are Birmingham, Munchen and
(photograph Dirk Buytaert)
New destinations for antwerp Airport
February 12th, VLM Airlines will add three new destinations to its network.
Birmingham, Maribor and München will be served 5 times a week (1 flight per day).
The flight to Maribor is an extension of the München service.
Tickets will be available from January 10th on at 59 eur/single trip.
Construction of spottersplaces to begin
construction of the new spotterplaces at Brussels airport will begin on January
8th. Weather permitting the works should end by the beginning of
This means that the now popular spots at the Vliegbos and near the transit
center will be hard to reach between January and April, making spotting at
Brussels airport a difficult job. However the result will be great. So a little
patience is at order.
New investments at Liège Airport
Airport will be investing 50 millions in the cargo section. Four new parking
lots for large aircraft will be created and some 20.000m² of additional cargo
space will be created. Liège is expection a record breaking 2017 with over
700.000 Tonnes of goods passing through.
VLM Airlines honors founder Freddy Van Gaever
few hours after the funeral of VLM founder and aviation entrepreneur Freddy Van
Gaever on 23th December, VLM Fokker 50 – OO-VLS – was noted with a new name on
its nose at Antwerp Airport. This aircraft will fly, named Freddy van Gaever, as
a tribute to their founder.
(photograph Bob Rongé)
Air Belgium to operate from Charleroi
Belgium has selected Brussels South Charleroi Airport as its base and willstart
operating in March 2019. The board of Charleroi Airport still has to give green
light for the operation.
Sonaca 200 on track towards certification
Sonaca is in the final test stage that must result in the certification of
their Sonaca 200 light aircraft. The static and fatigue analysis is finished
using a computing platform developed by Sonaca itself. The prototype aircraft,
OO-NEW, was used for the test-program. The final phase (spin tests) will begin
very soon. Delivery of the first production aircraft is still scheduled for the
beginning of 2018.
Freddy Van Gaever died at the age of 79
well known figure in the Belgian aviation scene, Freddy Van Gaever, has died at
the age of 79. Freddy Van Gaever was the driving force behind Delta Air
Transport and EAT and founder of Frevag, VG Airlines and VLM Airlines.
In later years he was also parlementarian and senator.
Blue Skies Freddy...
(photo Coll. ASA/Dirk Buytaert)
Passenger growth for Brussels Airlines
November, Brussels Airlines saw its passengers grow with 94862 units or 15,6%
more than compared with November 2016.
New book about Jaap van Mesdag
van Mesdag, or Jaap Mesdag as he was called by most people, was very well known
in the Belgian aviation scene. He was founder of the ‘Early Birds’, a Dutch
group that restored and preserved several old-timer aircraft at Lelystad
Airport. He visited most of the Belgian old-timer events with one or more
aircraft for several years. Jaap was also involved in the maintenance and
operation of the WW-I aircraft of the Stampe and Vertongen Museum at Antwerp
Jaap died in October 2015, he was 93 years old.
Now, the Netherlands Dachau Comité, published a book describing the life of Jaap.
The book contains 152 pages and more than 130 photos. Benefits go to the Early
More info on :
New CEO for VLM Airlines
SHS Aviation announces that Harm Prins will leave the company and that Karl
Rickard will take over as CEO. It is also announced that Christian Heinzmann
will join the board of SHS Aviation.
Two NH.90 helicopters will deploy to Mali
in February 2018, The Belgian Air Force will support a UN mission in Mali.
Two NH.90 helicopters will operate in this African country together with four
Luftwaffe helicopters. These machines are already operational there at this
About 50 Belgian military personnel will support this mission.
Belgian pilot jailed in the U.K.
65 year old, former Belgian Army helicopter pilot, Rudi S. was jailed in the
UK recently. He seems to be involved in a drug running case. He is accused of
dropping three plastic containers containing drugs from a light aircraft over a
field in Kent last year. In 1994 the Robinson he was flying was hijacked in an
attempt to free a prisoner from a Dutch jail. We understand he was now flying a
fixed wing aircraft !
Asco Industries awarded contract to manufacture the Flaperon Spar for the F-35
Fokker Technologies, a business of GKN Aerospace, awarded a contract to Asco
Industries for the supply of Flaperon Spars for the Lockheed Martin F-35
Lightning II program.
Asco will perform the manufacturing and integrated surface treatments on the
spars at their corporate facility in Zaventem, Belgium. The F-35’s Flaperon
Spars are highly complex titanium machined components, which form the core of
the flap located at the trailing edge of the wing.
The spars will be delivered to Fokker in the Netherlands who performs the
assembly in composite material and delivers the complete flap to Lockheed Martin
in Fort Worth, USA.
VLM received its Belgian AOC
VLM Airlines received its long awaited Belgian AOC not only for the new Airbus
A320's but also for its Fokker 50's. At present it is unknown why it took so
long to issue this AOC.
The Airbus's will be used for charter, ACMI and private flights. The first two
flights have already been performed last week.
The Fokker 50 will be also be used for Charter, ACMI and private flights besides
the scheduled services AnR-LCY
We wish VLM lots of success in the future.
(photograph : Yannick Van Praag)
Liège airport new investments
order to accompany the strong growth of its freight clients, Liege Airport is
going into turbo with its investments, devoting over 20 million euros for new
warehouses and handling facilities.
For more than 12 months, cargo activity at Liege Airport has been undergoing
major structural growth. The companies on the site have opened new routes,
integrated new aircraft and intensified their activities.
Since June, Air China Cargo, the largest Chinese cargo company, has been running
a weekly flight between Shanghai and Liege and it will increase its rotations in
2018. Moreover, in early October, Air Bridge Cargo decided to establish its main
hub at Liege Airport.
Farewell Avro RJ.100
Airlines is ready to return the very last Avro RJ.100 to the owner. Yesterday
29.10.17 the very last aircraft OO-DWD made some ‘farewell-flights’ from
Brussels. Flight ‘B-line1187’ made a pass over Antwerp Airport. The withdrawal
of this type means the end of an era for Brussels Airlines and its predecessor
Delta Air Transport.
Brussels Airport… the cheapest Dutch Airport
airport is preparing the reception of Dutch travelers escaping the ‘vliegtax’
that will be introduced by the national government starting in 2021.
Schiphol airport is reaching its operational limits. They even asked some
cargo-airlines to leave. Brussels Airport can still grow and offers itself as an
easy to reach and cheap alternative to Schiphol. The airport management hopes to
attract travelers from Southern Holland.
In order to win more
visibility in Holland, Brussels Airport became sponsor of the Dutch Willem II
New connection for Antwerp airport
has now been confirmed that Flybe will re-open its Antwerp-Southend service at
the end of March 2018. The company will offer 4 flights per week on Monday,
Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Passengers will have the possibility to take connecting flights to Glasgow,
Dublin and Manchester at Southend.
Emirates to Brussels
announced that it will also transfer its freight flights from Schiphol to
Cargo Airlines leave Schiphol for Belgian airports
Airport reduced the access for some cargo-airlines. 37 weekly cargo-flights have
to disappear in order to allow more passenger traffic. As a result Singapore
Airlines announced that it will move all cargo-flights back to Brussels Airport
from early November. Russian freight carrier AirBridgeCargo will move three
weekly flights to Liège/Bierset Airport. In the future this airline may move up
to 12 weekly flights from Amsterdam/Schiphol to this Belgian airport.
BAFA chooses ALSIM simulator
ALSIM is pleased to announce the sale of an ALX (SEP/MEP/MJ) to BAFA (Ben Air
Flight Academy). The new simulator will be equipped with LPV/PBN. Alsim bought
back 2 simulators from the competition and replaced them with the ALX.
BAFA chose the ALSIM simulator because they appreciated the flight models and
flexible changes between the different aircraft configurations. The technologies
in the aviation sector are continuously improving and the ALX offers the best
opportunity to provide for up to date avionics, advanced training possibilities
and is the best match to the existing aircraft fleet.
Swissport and the unions take an engagement towards a better social climate.
the last year the workers of handling company Swissport went on strike several
times. This resulted in very angry passengers and airlines. It also created a
very negative view towards Brussels Airport.
Today Swissport and the unions announced that they will start a project that
will result in actions that will be positive for both the company and its
workforce. Together they will analyse the different reasons that resulted in
strikes and they implement, in close partnership, new solutions in order to
avoid future actions.
As a result not only Swissport and its employees but also Brussels Airport and
its passengers will benefit from this cooperation.
Spotters welcome at Brussels Airport
has been granted to built spotters areas around Brussels Airport. Work will
commence in the autumn of 2017 and should be ready at the end of the year or
Jacques ‘Red’ Dewaelheyns passed away
Last Monday, 3 July 2017, kolonel BEM e.r. Jacques ‘Red’ Dewaelheyns passed
away after a long illness. He was the first leader of the Red Devils, the
Belgian Air Force aerobatic team. Initially the team flew on Hawker Hunter.
After six years they changed to the Fouga Magister (1965 till 1977). Afterwards
‘Red’ Dewaelheyns was involved in several civil aviation projects including the
Piper-dealership via NEAS in de late seventies – early eighties.
Brussels Airport invests heavily in new technology for hold baggage screening
Airport has launched the first phase of works to implement new technology for
hold baggage screening. By the 1st of September 2022,
every airport in the European Union must screen hold baggage according to
Baggage Screening Standard 3. That is why Brussels Airport is investing 100
million Euros in the purchase of new screening devices and the construction of a
new hall and infrastructure.
Sonaca 200 prototype makes first flight
On Monday 19.06.17 the prototype of the Sonaca 200 – OO-NEW – made its first
flight from Charleroi Airport. This single engine two-seat aircraft is assembled
by Sonaca. The flight test campaign will take four months. It starts in Belgium
but will be pursued at Avignon in southern France. This must result in obtaining
the EASA certification for this new Belgian designed aircraft.
Hainan Airlines starts Brussels to Shanghai service
Airlines will start a Brussels to Shanghai service from 25 Oktober 2017. They
will operate this service three times per week (Monday, Wedsnesday and Friday)
using Boeing 878-9 aircraft.
Shanghai will be the second destination that can be reached from Brussels.
Hainan Airlines flies from Beijing to Brussels since 2006.
Cargo airlines starting to leave Brussels
River Express left Brussels in february, Air Cargo Global has announced that it
is stopping all their activities at Brussels due to the noise restrictions and
Magma Aviation has also indicated the same intentions if the sitaution is not
clarrified in the coming weeks.
August Van Laer deceased
just received the news that our member August Van Laer has died unexpectedly on
Thursday 16/02/2017 at the age of 69.
We offer his family and friends our condolences. Blue skies mate.
Buurtkrant 2e editie
Het tweede nummer van de Antwerpse "Luchthavenbuurt Krant" is van de persen
gerold en wordt momenteel door onze vrijwillegers verdeeld in de buurt
rodom de luchthaven. Diegenen die buiten de verdeling vallen kunnen hier hun
Decrease in passengers, increase in freight
Airport handled 21.8 million passengers in 2016, down 7 % on record year 2015.
The decrease is completely due to the attacks on the airport on 22 March; the
airport was closed for 12 days and then only gradually resumed its operations.
Cargo traffic at Brussels Airport rose by 1.1% compared to 2015, despite the
impact of the attacks.
Free drop-off zone
mid-December, Brussels Airport has opened a new, free drop-off zone. The zone is
exclusively intended for quickly dropping off passengers leaving on a trip.
Parking is not possible and drivers may not leave their vehicles. People wanting
to accompany passengers to the departure hall or who come to pick up passengers,
can make use of P1, P2 and P3, where, with the Brussels Airport Pcard+, the
first half hour is free-of-charge.
The drop-off zone is on the same level as the bus station and in walking
distance of the terminal. To get there drivers should simply follow the
"Drop-off" signage. For the comfort of the passengers, a covered walkway leads
from the drop-off zone to the terminal.