The first flights from Air Belgium to China are postponed “until the winter season” due to the delay in granting the Air Operator licence for the company, according to CEO Niky Terzakis, quoted by L’Echo on Tuesday. The new Belgian airline will begin operations with four flights per week to Hong Kong, and will increase to six weekly flights to the same destination by 2018. Other Chinese cities are also scheduled for the program.
“The objective today is to launch flights for the winter season,” says the CEO without specifying the exact date. The launch of the flights should take place in October or November, and not this summer as announced. “We were somewhat late because the procedure for obtaining the right to fly over the territory took more time and the reconfiguration of the cockpits was not carried out in time,” continues Mr. Terzakis.
The other pending issue is the Belgian airport where the Air Belgium aircraft will be based. The fight is between Brussels South Charleroi Airport (BSCA) and Brussels Airport. But the national airport is more advanced than its counterpart in Charleroi with regard to the operational criteria of Air Belgium: possibility to connect to other European destinations to fill the planes.
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