Air Belgium secured its Air Operator Certificate (AOC)

Airbus A340-300 Air Belgium Image by Air Belgium

Air Belgium announced yesterday it has obtained its Air Operator Certificate (AOC), which will enable the continuation of preparation for the first commercial flights.

The announcement was approved by Belgian Civil Aviation Administration (Direction Générale Transport Aérien – DGTA), the body in charge of the supervision and the regulation of airline transport in Belgium. The first revenue flights are planned for mid-April 2018 to Hong Kong. Ticket sales should commence in the next couple of days.

The airline received its first two aircraft just weeks ago (1 and 2 March respectively), the former Finnair A340-300s which were ferried from Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées (LDE) to Brussels Airport (BRU). Ten years old aeroplanes were registered as OO-ABA and OO-ABB and are first of four examples to be delivered to the company. The aircraft are currently stationed in Brussels where are being painted in its brand new livery at Sabena Aerospace.

Before the flights start the aircraft will move to Brussels South-Charleroi (CRL), which will serve as a home base. Because of the shorter runway at the airport (2550 metres), outbound flights are initially going to be payload restricted. Aircraft will be configured in 257 seats but will eventually increase to 303. The limits should be lifted after the runway will get its 700 metres extension.

— Aviation24.be; BŠ