The new route was officially opened in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Kris Peeters and Transport Minister Jacqueline Galant.
ANA is using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the new route. The plane was given a warm welcome with an escort in formation by the airport services and a traditional water salute.
The passengers on the first flight from and to Japan were treated to Belgian chocolates.
During an official ceremony the Chairman and CEO of ANA Holdings Shinya Katanozaka and Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist celebrated the new partnership.
“Brussels Airport is honoured to be able to welcome such a prestigious airline as ANA. Both our companies share the values of customer intimacy, perfection and service. The direct flight creates hundreds of new direct and indirect jobs in and around our airport, stimulates tourism between both our countries, and gives Belgian companies an important new transport link for Belgian export goods such as chocolate and pharmaceutical products”, said Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport.
On the picture below: Mr Ishii, Japan Ambassador, Mr Katanozaka, CEO ANA, Brussels Airport CEO Feist, Deputy PM Peeters & Minister Galant performing Kagami-biraki: the opening of a cask of sake to bring good luck to and celebrate the new direct Brussels - Tokyo route.