Monday, April 11, 2016

Brussels Airport expects return of major foreign carriers

Brussels’ Zanventem Airport (BRU), which was damaged by two terrorist bombs in March, expects the overwhelming majority of air carriers - including many major foreign carriers - to resume operations this week.

“The return to Brussels Airport of a large number of major international airlines is an important signal. It shows that they continue to put their trust in Brussels Airport,” Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company, said in a statement.

BRU symbolically restarted operations on April 3 after installing temporary facilities for departing passengers to use upon check-in.

Those facilities, which were constructed following the attack, leads to the screening platform in the Connector Building. From there, passengers will follow normal routing. Arriving passengers follow the usual routing, which was not damaged by the blasts.

Since the symbolic restart, the airport has been gradually ramping up its operations and will continue to do so in the days and weeks ahead.

“As airport operator, we will do everything in our power to provide [airlines] with additional capacity, in consultation with the competent authorities,” Feist added. “However, in doing so, we have to take account of the initial flight schedule to allow airlines to organise their flights as efficiently as possible.”

Flights will be evenly spread over the 18 hours of the day that are available for flight operations. The scheduled was established to take into account the maximum check-in capacity of 800 passengers per hour using the temporary check-in facilities. That means the airport anticipates handling 15,000 passengers per day, equating to about 225 departing flights daily. That compares to nearly 350 daily flights on an average day in April, the airport said.

Brussels Airport is country’s the second largest economic generator, providing 20,000 jobs as well as connections to the rest of the world that allow Belgian companies to develop and grow. Brussels Airport links the European capital with 226 destinations worldwide that are served by 77 different airlines, based upon 2015 figures.

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