NEWS Archive

NEWS 2011/03

September 2011
09/09 - 7% more passengers during the summer months for Charleroi Airport

During the months of June, July and August; Charleroi / Brussels South Airport registered 1.709.391 passengers. This is an increase of 7% compared to the 1.592.195 passengers during the same period last year. In August, 589.145 passengers were registered which is an increase of 6% compared to August 2010. Since the beginning of this year, 3.955.373 passengers were registered. This is already 500.000 passengers more then last year. 3 new routes will be flown this autumn: Manchester (Ryanair), Alicante and Oran (Jetairfly). Source: Charleroi Airport

05/09 - Brussels Airlines announced Bamako as their 21st African destination

Brussels Airlines announced Bamako, the capital of Mali, as their 21st African destination. As from Wednesday the 7th of September, there will be twice a week a direct flight between Brussels Airport and Bamako. Flights will be leaving on Wednesday and Sunday in Brussels and will return the same day in Bamaka, arriving around 5:25 in the morning back in Brussels Airport. As for most African destinations, an Airbus 330-300 will be used on this route. Source: Brussels Airlines

August 2011
22/08 - Ryanair Boeing 737-800 EI-DWT from Charleroi reports unsafe gear at Riga

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800, registration EI-DWT performing flight FR-8085 from Brussels Charleroi (Belgium) to Riga (Latvia), was on approach to Riga when the crew reported a gear unsafe indication, performed a low approach which confirmed one of the main gear struts was not down. The aircraft climbed back to 6000 feet and entered a holding to trouble shoot the problem. About 45 minutes after aborting the first approach the crew managed to lower and lock all gear and landed safely on Riga's runway 18. Riga Airport reported that there were already considerations to have the aircraft ditch in the Gulf of Riga just north of the aerodrome. Latvia's Directorate General of Civil Aviation confirmed the aircraft had a problem with the landing gear. The aircraft subsequently entered a holding area to work the problem, then performed another overflight (according to radar data at 2500 feet MSL) for another visual check by experts from the ground which confirmed all gear had reached the fully down position and commenced a safe landing immediately thereafter.

19/08 - Record figures in July 2011 for Brussels Airport

With 2,033,101 passengers travelling through the airport in July, Brussels Airport recorded its highest monthly traffic since 2001. The continuing passenger growth (9, 3% in July) is supported by both the intra-European and intercontinental traffic. Transfer and transit traffic even recorded a 29.8% growth over July 2010. These strong results are mostly explained by Brussels Airlines’ and Star Alliance’ strong hub development at Brussels Airport, as well as a remarkable return of holiday traffic after the weakened economic situation of the past two years. Source and more info at Brussels Airport

18/08 - Famous aviation historian Georges Lecomte has passed away.

George Lecomte, the famous Belgian aviation historian has passed away. Over the years, Georges was responsible for a huge number of publications and his certainly was considered as "the" authority on Belgian aviation. No serious author on the subject could neglect to ask Georges' advice, which he always gave full of enthusiasm. The "Belgian Wings" Website could benefit largely from Georges' expertise and even up to a few weeks ago updates could be made thanks to his precious advice. Belgian Wings and Belgian Aviation News express their condolences to family and relatives.

12/08 - The Light Aviation's hall of traditions to move to Beauvechain airbase

The "Hall of Traditions" of the Light Aviation of the Belgian Army (and later the Wing Heli) which was created at Bierset airbase, will soon be moved to Beauvechain airbase. Following the closure of Bierset airbase and the transfer of the Wing Heli to Beauvechain airbase it was necessary to find a new location of the Light Aviation patrimonium. The logical choice was the "1st Wing Historical Centre" who will in the near future host a new Light Aviation section.  Another Light Aviation section already exists at the Artillery Museum at Brasschaat. Source and more information: Passion Aviation - Blogue aéronautique de Pierre Gillard.

11/08 - Brussels Airlines; number of passengers grows with 19.3 % over July 2011

Over the month of July 2011 some 568.000 passengers used Brussels Airlines for their travels, and increase of no less than 19.3% (or 91.000 passengers) if compared with on year earlier. The average load factor also increased 78.7% (5.9 points better than in July 2010). The increase of passengers is mainly noted on the European flights with an 21% increase while the long haul network to Africa saw a rate of some 4.7%. Source: Brussels Airlines

05/08 - Legendary Sikorsky S-38 flying boat "Osa's Ark" comes to the Photoflying Days at Malle

The unique and wonderful Sikorsky S-38 flying boat "Osa's Ark" will participate at the Photoflying Days and Fly In at Malle airfield between August 19th and 21st, 2011. In the legendary pre-WWII period Igor Sikorsky constructed his first flying boat which became the S-38. With their adventurous flights over the African continent, Martin and Osa Johnson would make this aircraft immortal. "Osa's Ark" is a perfect replica of this "flying Yacht" and will beyond any doubt be the star of the Malle event. More information at  and  Picture of Osa's Ark

04/08 - 80UAV Sq starts applying Belgian markings on their B-Hunter UAV's

The Florennes based 80UAV Squadron has started applying nationality markings on the B-Hunter UAV's (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) they operate. Up to now the UAV's of the Belgian Air Force were devoid of all markings with the exception of the serial number applied on both sides of the fuselage. Vehicle "280" is the first of the aircraft to receive Belgian roundels on the top wing and Belgian flags as fin flashes. Follow this link for pictures of "280" as seen at Florennes airbase.

04/08 - Brussels Airport: 8.6 million passengers in the first half of the year, growth of 12.1%

During the first six months of 2011 Brussels Airport welcomed a total of 8.6 million passengers. Compared with the 7.7 million passengers who used Brussels Airport during the first half of 2010, this represents growth of 12.1%.  The Brussels Airport Company does, however, point to the exceptional circumstances during the spring of 2011 that underpin this strong growth. Without the effect of the ash cloud that grounded millions of passengers worldwide for days at the end of the Easter holidays in 2010 because virtually all Europe’s airports were closed, the growth figure would have stood at around 8%. This means that once again Brussels Airport has performed above the European average. Transit traffic at Brussels Airport has received a sizeable boost in the past few months, but inter-European business traffic, low-cost traffic and long-haul fights are raising sharply, too. The driving force behind this growth is largely the development of Brussels Airlines and the hub activity of its partner airlines within Star Alliance, the worldwide alliance of airlines of which it is part. For instance, Thai Airways International has also now announced that as of 17 November they will flying Brussels to Bangkok direct three times a week. The political climate in some Arab and African countries affected a number of routes flown direct out of Brussels Airport, but weighed to a limited extent on the overall result of the airport as many holiday passengers simply opted for a different destination. While the impact of the problems in Japan had serious consequences for traffic from, to and within Asia, the effect of this for our airport was also limited. Source: Air Transport News

02/08 - More flying incidents in Belgian airspace over 2010.

Over the year 2010 some 189 flying incidents have been reported, which is a considerable increase if compared to the 99 incidents one year earlier. According to State Secretary for Mobility Etienne Schouppe this can be explained in part by a streamlining in the reporting procedures and an increased awareness of the importance of reporting incidents. In 22 cases Belgocontrol was partly responsible which is an improvement over 28 cases in the previous year? Source:

01/08 - Belgium wins “Best International Team” trophy at Rodeo 2011

The crew of a Belgian Air Force Lockheed C-130H Hercules has obtained the trophy of “Best International Team” during Air Mobility Rodeo 2011, an exercise organised by the U.S. Air Force at McChord airbase in the state of Washington. This large competition is organised every two years and welcomes foreign air forces of all over the world next to many U.S. units. This year participants of Belgium, the Netherlands, Pakistan, South-Korea, Saudi-Arabia, Spain and Sweden attended the competition which includes multiple disciplines such as, navigation, food droppings or evacuation by air bridge. Main aircraft types involved were Lockheed C-130 Hercules, Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, Lockheed C-17 Globemaster transports and KC-10 Extender and KC-135 Startotanker refuelling aircraft. The Belgian team was commanded by a lady, Kathy Wouters. Picture of the winning Belgian crew. Source: Belga

July 2011
26/07 - Belgian Air Force's 15th Transport Wing team participates in Air Mobility Rodeo 2011

A team of the Belgian Air Force's 15th Transport Wing based at Melsbroek is participating in the International Air Mobility Rodeo 2011 "Fit to Fight" organised at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State U.S.A.  There are seven countries participating in events at Rodeo: Belgium, Netherlands, Pakistan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Sweden. Additionally, there are more than 20 countries observing the competition, including Argentina, Australia and Canada, as well as India, Israel, Poland, Singapore and New Zealand. For the first time, the African nations of Algeria, Botswana, Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Africa are observers for Rodeo. They also attended the International Airdrop Symposium that was a lead-in event to Rodeo 2011. Rodeo is the U.S. Air Force's and Air Mobility Command's premier international combat skills and flying operations competition designed to develop and improve techniques, procedures and interoperability, while optimizing international mobility partnerships and enhancing mobility operations. Picture: Belgian showing the flag. Source: US Air Force

26/07 - Boeing 747 freighter on fire on take off from Liège-Bierset airport.

A Boeing 747 freighter aircraft of Cargo Airlines had to make an emergency landing at Liège-Bierset airport after an engine caught fire on take off from the same airport. The pilot was able to extinguish the engine fire with the onboard automatic system and returned to the airport for a successful emergency landing. The aircraft was bound for New-York. Source: Le Soir

20/07 - Canadians snap up Brussels Airport

The Canadian pension fund, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan is to become the biggest shareholder of the company that operates the airport at Zaventem. The pension fund is taking a 39% stake in the company.  Ontario Teachers Pension Plan is purchasing shares currently owned by the Australian group Macquarie Airports. Macquarie Airports became Brussels Airport's biggest shareholder in 2004. Two funds linked to Macquarie will retain a 36% share in the airport. The Belgian authorities own a 25% stake plus one share. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan is also acquiring a 30% stake in Copenhagen Airport. Macquarie Airports is receiving an 11% stake in Sydney Airport as part of the deal as well as an undisclosed amount in cash. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan is Canada's largest pension fund devoted to a single profession. It manages the pensions of 295,000 teachers and retired teachers in Ontario Province. Source De Redactie

20/07 - Emergency landing at Deurne after false fire warning in luggage compartment.

This morning at 7.20 am an airliner had to return to Antwerp/Deurne airport for an emergency landing after the pilot received a fire warning in the baggage compartment of his Fokker 50. The aircraft which was bound for Manchester (U.K.) made an uneventful landing and the passengers could disembark without problems. The fire brigade which was immediately on the scene could not detect any signs of fire. The aircraft will be examined in detail. Source: Gazet van Antwerpen

19/07 - Belgium delivers 9 supplementary F-16 fighters to Jordan.

Belgium has started delivering nine supplementary F-16 fighters to Jordan. This new batch of aircraft supplement some 16 aircraft sold in 2006. Five F-16’s (including two twin-seat F-16B’s) have left Kleine Brogel airbase for Al-Azraq in Jordan piloted by Jordanian pilots. Today two more aircraft are delivered. Two more aircraft which suffered some minor problems are to leave tomorrow. The sixteen F-16 delivered between September 2008 and March 2009 valued some 70 million Euro. According to some sources Jordan is to pay 32 million for the nine supplementary machines. Source; Het Laatste Nieuws

18/07 - Antwerp-Deurne airport has been accumulating losses in the last ten years

Financial results for both Flemish regional airports of Oostende and Deurne remain very weak. Oostende is just managing to make a small profit, while Deurne remains in the red since many years. The last eight years the regional airport of Antwerp has not been able to book any benefit at all. Although over 2010, the airport received some 4.5 million € of government money, it still presented a loss of half a million €. The limited although increasing revenue is not even enough to pay the personnel of the airport and the number of passengers handled over 2010 decreased with 4% to 160.000 a year. The sole regular connection from the airport is flown by CityJet to London and Manchester. Oostende receives some 8 million governmental subsidies and realised a very small profit of 150.000 €. Although the number of passengers using Oostende is increasing, the freight traffic is falling. Source: De Standaard

15/07 - Brussels Airlines records 17.5% passenger growth in June 2011

 Brussels Airlines recorded a positive passenger growth of 17.5 percent in June. In total, more than 78,000 additional passengers flew with Brussels Airlines as compared to the month of June 2010.  A total of 526,319 passengers chose Brussels Airlines in the month of June. The intra-European passenger traffic increased by 17.8 % and the inter-continental passenger traffic to Africa experienced a growth of 14.8 % compared to June last year. Thanks to this increase in passenger numbers, the occupancy rate increased by 5.1 percentage points to 69.3. Source: Brussels Airlines

13/07 - F-16 flying incident in Morocco costs Belgium Defence some 50.000 euro.

The Belgian Ministry of Defence has paid some 50.000 euro to the Moroccan government as a damage claim following an Air Component flying incident with an F-16 fighter which hit and damaged some high-tension cables.  The incident took place during a very intensive low-flying training period from the northern Moroccan base of Sidi Slimane. Because of the damage some parts of Morocco and Algeria were deprived of electricity during a few days. Source: De Morgen  

12/07 - Sabena technics opens Transall C160 parts distribution center at Evreux (F.)

Sabena technics, designated in January 2011 by the SIMMAD (the French Air Force support organization) as its service provider in charge of the optimized management of the repairable components of the French Air Force’s fleet of Transall C160, opened a spare parts distribution center at Evreux as contractually planned. As a reminder, this contract, named Explorer C160, aims to optimize the fleet’s (52 Transall aircraft) stock management until it phases out in an estimated seven to nine years time. For this purpose, the SIMMAD (Structure Intégrée de Maintien en Condition Opérationnelle des Matériels Aéronautiques de la Défense) has decided to rationalize the support of around 1400 types of repairable components, which were previously managed by approximately 30 different contracts. More information and source: Sabena technics

10/07 - Ultra Light Motorised aircraft crashed at Complain-au-Pont

An Ultra Light Motorise (ULM) aircraft crashed in a field near Comblain-au-Pont after hitting some electricity cables shortly before. The pilot had to be liberated by the local fire brigade suffered several injuries and had to be transported by helicopter to University hospital of Liège. Source: Le Soir and De Morgen

09/07 - New parachute training balloon at Schaffen.

belgian Defence's "Trainingcentrum voor Parachutisten (TrgC Para) (training centre for military parachutists) at Schaffen has recently acquired a new balloon from which first parachute jumps are trained. The static balloon has been manufactured by the British company Lindstrad Technologies (LTL) and replaces an existing balloon (nicknamed "het varken" or "the pig") which was withdrawn from use prematurely after a ground handling incident. The new balloon is already fully operational and has is more stable and easier to handle than the previous one thanks to some improvements. Source: www.

09/07 - Two victims in Belgian helicopter crash in Northern France

Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter OO-HNE (cn 10503) owned by 52 year old Pierre Cooremans from Kapelle-op-den-Bos which had taken off from Willebroek bound for Spain crashed in Lozoir, a small village in the Northern French departement Aisne. The 37 year old Italian passenger and the pilot/owner were killed when their aircraft hit some trees. Cause of the accident has not been established but weather was very bad in the region at the time of the accident. Source: De Morgen. and Le Soir. Picture of the OO-HNE on

08/07 - Belgian F-16 executed four bombing missions over Libya this week

Belgian Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters operating in the framework of NATO's "Unified Protector" campaign out of the Greek base of Araxos have executed four night bombing missions over Libya this week in which no collateral damage has been reported. Since the start of the NATO led operation, Belgian aircraft have dropped some 129 bombs (43 laser guided weapons and 86 GPS guided bombs). Source : De Morgen   

07/07 - Damaged CityJet Fokker 50 OO-VLE to be broken up.

CityJet Fokker 50 OO-VLE (cn 20132) which was severely damaged when its undercarriage collapsed during pre-departure maintenance at Rotterdam Airport on May 10th, 2011, will be broken up. This either will be done at Woensdrecht (Nl.) or Norwich (UK). The non damaged parts will be used as spares on other Fokkers of the company. Source: ASA

04/07 - Brussels Airlines to start direct flights to the US in 2012

As of next year Brussels Airlines will link Brussels with the United States. No city of destinations has been specified but New York offers the largest market for Brussels. For this purpose Brussels Airlines is to acquire a 6th Airbus A330 long range airliner. The decision to fly to the United States fits into the development of Brussels Airport as a hub. Already now some 14% of the passengers of the airlines flights to Africa arrive from the US.  Source: De Standaard


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Last updated 09/09/2011 11:53 

Daniel Brackx -