Startup long-haul, low-fare airline Air Belgium has received its operating certificate from Belgium’s Direction Générale Transport Aérien (DGTA), allowing it to start selling tickets for planned first revenue service with one of four Airbus A340-300s between Brussels and Hong Kong in mid-April. Headquartered in the municipality of Mont-Saint-Guibert in the province of Walloon Brabant, Air Belgium launches operations with starting capital of €20 million, divided among Belgian and European majority shareholders and Asian minority shareholders. It plans to provide low-fare direct services between Brussels and several destinations in China, such as Shanghai and Beijing, as well as other points in Asia.
In late January Air Belgium announced plans to base its operations at Brussels South Charleroi Airport (BSCA), the second-busiest facility in the country and a reliever for the main Brussels Airport located northeast of the city. Plans call for the construction of a so-called premium terminal at the current Terminal Sud executive aviation facility, which, according to Air Brussels, will allow passengers to clear customs and board their flights within 20 minutes of arrival. Airport authorities expect construction to start at the end of May and take a year to complete. In the meantime, BSCA has promised to provide “temporary solutions” as an alternative, according to Air Belgium.