Air Belgium as a brand was reborn in 2016, having also been used as a leisure airline in the ’80s and ’90s. This time, it is designed to be a full-service carrier, offering long-haul flights out of Brussels Charleroi Airport to Hong Kong – the only European carrier currently offering the prospect of a direct connection between Greater China and Belgium. Flight will be bookable via SkyScanner.
Last month, we recieved more information about Air Belgium’s business model. They aspire to have excellent customer service (even offering a premium terminal, with a car to plane transit time of 20 minutes, moving forward), with three classes of travel – including Economy, Premium & Business class. Economy Class will be configured in a 2-4-2 configuration, Premium offering a 2-3-2 set up and Business Class will offer lie-flat seats, staggered between 1-2-1 and 2-2-2.
On Tuesday, Air Belgium obtained its Air Operating Certificate – commonly known as AOC. Mandatory for all airlines, the air operator’s certificate has been provided by the Direction générale Transport aérien (DGTA), the body in charge of the supervision and the regulation of airline transport in Belgium. The air operator’s certificate demonstrates the capacity of the airline to guarantee safe and responsible airline transport.
This is a huge step in Air Belgium’s journey to realising its vision – offering non-stop, consumer friendly services – based around the philosophy of offering a ‘fresh approach’. A booking facility is estimated to open on Air Belgium’s website within the next few days and the first flight (pioneering the non-stop connection between Charleroi and Hong Kong) is currently estimated to take off on the 16th April 2018.
What’s more, the airline has big ambitions. When asked about the airline’s routes, Air Belgium’s CEO said: “Assuming there is no further delay at Airbus, we will start flying to Hong Kong about four times a week. We plan on increasing this to six flights a week by the fall of 2018. And we’ll be serving six other destinations on the Chinese mainland as of May 2018.” (Airline Geeks)
As Air Belgium finalises its fresh approach, obtaining its AOC and launching the schedule of their flights, I am confident that they will pitch their airline as a breath of fresh air, tapping in to a niche in the Belgian aviation market. By mid April, Air Belgium’s patriotic Airbus A340-300s will be traversing continents and establishing themselves as a new force in the Europe-Asia air market.