Air Belgium is to delay its first flight to Hong Kong, which was scheduled to take off on April 30th. Circumstances have forced the new airline to reschedule this launch date to June 3rd.
Niky Terzakis, CEO of Air Belgium explains the two reasons behind this hard decision: “At this date and despite all efforts of our teams and the Belgian authorities, we are still expecting to receive the overflight permit from the Russian authorities, knowing that overflying through the Russian airspace is unavoidable. Air Belgium did secure all other required permits well in advance. However, the Russian permit has not yet been granted. In addition to the uncertainty created by the above, the complicated and delayed GDS (Global Distribution Systems) implementation, has also prevented Chinese tourists groups from being directed to our flights.”
“We have already informed all affected passengers by e-mail and will call each of them individually to apologise and to present them the following alternatives: a seat on a flight of another airline, a deferred travel date with Air Belgium (including financial compensation) or full reimbursement. Everything will be done to find a solution for each passenger”, says Terzakis.
“This was a hard call to make considering the market expectations, but we take the protection of our travellers’ interests to heart. In the meantime, we are doing everything we can to obtain the overflight permit as fast as possible and to support tour operators in making the necessary arrangements in time”, Terzakis concludes.
Mont-Saint-Guibert, 25 April 2018