“I am very pleased and proud to be able to announce that tomorrow, Sunday 3 April, Brussels Airport will be able to welcome its first passengers after the devastating bomb attacks. I am extremely grateful to all airport staff, federal police and the federal government for their efforts and commitment. These flights are the first hopeful sign from an airport that is standing up straight after a cowardly attack. That we are able to make this start only 12 days after the devastating attacks is a sign of our collective strength at Brussels Airport”, says Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company.
On Sunday 3 April, for the first time since the bomb attacks on Brussels Airport, 3 symbolic passenger flights will depart. In the days following, the number of flights will be gradually increased and passenger flights will also land at Brussels Airport.
The departing passengers will be received in temporary constructions for check-in. This route leads to the screening platform in the Connector Building, from where the normal routing for passengers will continue further. Arriving passengers will follow the usual routing. Passengers will collect their luggage from the reclaim area and leave via the arrival hall. This was only slightly damaged by the attacks and has since been repaired.
“Deepest respect for all airport staff”
Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company is adamant about thanking all airport staff and airport police for their efforts at the time of the attacks and subsequently. “I have heard dozens of stories from the fire services, from the operational teams, administrative staff and also from the airport police, about what they went through and saw”, says Feist.
“These people arrived very quickly at the scene. With risk for their own lives, they fearlessly went inside to help others. I cannot call this anything but heroic, and I have the very deepest respect for these actions. In the days that followed, I have also seen much courage, pride for Brussels Airport and persistence is being shown by everybody. That makes me very hopeful for the future of our airport and convinces me that we will emerge stronger than ever from this crisis.”
The airport will resume operations with 3 symbolic flights on Sunday 3 April. These flights are operated by Brussels Airlines, and will fly to Faro, Turin and Athens. In the following days, the number of flights will gradually be increased to the maximum capacity of the temporary structures, that is 800 departing passengers per hour. Other airlines, besides Brussels Airlines, will also recommence their operations at Brussels Airport in the days ahead.
The final coordinator is currently working on the exact flight schedule for the coming days in consultation with the airlines. Passengers who have questions about their flight can contact their airline. The flight information on the website of Brussels Airport, www.brusselsairport.be, will be activated once more.
In view of the limited capacity, not all airlines will be able to resume all their flights at Brussels Airport. “I am very well aware that not every airline can or wants to return to Brussels Airport. I personally promise that Brussels Airport will do everything in its power to increase as quickly as possible the capacity of our airport and to quickly grow the economic activities of our airport”, says Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company.
Brussels Airport has now started the demolition work to remove all damaged elements in the departure hall. In the coming weeks, Brussels Airport Company will be working on a strategic plan for the reconstruction of the departure hall. This will take place in two stages, whereby the focus in the first stage will be on restoring the functionality of several check-in desks in the departure hall. In the second stage, the work will focus on a comprehensive reopening of the departure hall. A timing for this has not yet been fixed. Our objective is to have a maximum capacity available before the start of the summer holidays at the end of June, beginning of July.
Practical information for passengers
The airport can, at the moment, only be reached by car or taxi. In the coming days, we will examine the possibility of restarting other means of transport, such as bus and train.
At the entrance to the airport area and at the entrance to the check-in zone there will be additional security measures. Brussels Airport would recommend passengers to arrive at least 3 hours before the scheduled departure of their flight and have their identity papers and travel documents handy in the car and at the temporary check-in area.
Dropping passengers is only possible in front of parking P2. All other parkings are closed for the moment, including the discount parkings at Brucargo. It is not possible to accompany the passengers to the check-in area. At the parking, only people with a air ticket will be allowed through to the temporary check-in.
Collecting passengers is only possible from in front of parking P2. A pick-up area has been created, where drivers can wait for the people they are meeting. In P2, the first 10 minutes is free of charge. If you remain within that limit, you do not need to validate your ticket at the ticket machines but can use your ticket to drive out.