Krasnoyarsk International Airport welcomed with a water salute the first Airbus A340 of Air Belgium arriving in its official livery*. The Belgian airline was operating a flight to deliver medical and individual protection equipment from China to Europe to fight against Coronavirus. This welcoming ceremony occurred on 11 May.
Krasnoyarsk International Airport continues to work with global air carriers after the decrease of passenger traffic. In May, Air Belgium has chosen the airport for intermediate stops (fuel and crew change) while delivering medical and individual protection equipment from China to Europe. This kind of activities will be renewed as often as needed. To honour the airline, the aircraft (an Airbus A340-300, registered OO-ABA) was entitled to a water salute. It is an international tradition because several aircraft types, flights and airlines are welcome in several airports around the globe.
“What a warm welcome from the 3rd largest city of Siberia, Krasnoyarsk,” said Niky Terzakis, CEO of Air Belgium, on Facebook.
Air Belgium’s aircraft are normally used for passenger flights but during the current outbreak, they operate cargo flights instead.
Cargo has also been delivered via Krasnoyarsk by Ural Airlines, Smartavia, Azur Air and GetJet Airlines, airlines which are usually providing commercial air services.
During the first quarter of 2020, cargo aircraft flew 3 times more from Krasnoyarsk International Airport. Compared to last year, takeoffs and landings of cargo increased by 208%. Furthermore, a record has been established in March 2020 with an increase of 279% (300 flights), compared to March 2019, with only 79 flights.
12 May 2020
* OO-ABE, the white Airbus A340 of Air Belgium, and OO-ABA both arrived at Krasnoyarsk from Europe during the night on respectively 10 and 11 May 2020 and flew thereafter to Nanjing. OO-ABE arrived first back from China on 10 May, and OO-ABA, wearing Air Belgium’s livery, arrived the day after, on 11 May and got the traditional water salute.