HomeEconomyAir: Air Belgium ceases its passenger activity, thousands of customers in uncertainty

Air: Air Belgium ceases its passenger activity, thousands of customers in uncertainty

The Belgian airline founded in 2016 only flies to three international destinations (South Africa and Mauritius), after numerous financial difficulties.

The strong recovery in air traffic did not benefit Air Belgium. The Belgian company announced that it would suspend passenger transport from October 3 to concentrate solely on the transport of goods (merchandise).

“To its greatest regret, Air Belgium will no longer be able to operate its passenger flights from October 3, 2023. All flights operated before this date will be operated as planned. We apologize for any inconvenience this announcement may cause and We do everything possible to inform all our passengers as best as possible,” can be read on the airline’s website.

This brutal announcement has direct consequences on the trips of 20,000 passengers, according to the Belgian press. In 2023, the company will only serve three destinations: Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa and Port-Louis in Mauritius.

Specifically, for passengers whose outbound flight is scheduled before October 3 and return after this date, “nothing changes for your outbound flight. As regards the return flight, Air Belgium will make every effort to divert to passengers with their planes or through other companies. If you prefer to cancel your trip, we authorize you to cancel your outbound, return or return flight, taking into account the circumstances.

Hit by kerosene rise

For those who purchased tickets for a flight after October 3, “all scheduled flights are cancelled. Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to request flight cancellation or change. We are sincerely sorry and apologize for this situation.

“If you have booked your ticket directly with Air Belgium, the paid tickets will be refunded to you as a priority within the framework of the judicial reorganization procedure, the application for which was submitted on September 18, 2023. We will keep you informed as soon as possible. If you have booked your ticket through an agency or tour operator, we ask that you contact your reservation agent directly,” explains the company.

Launched in 2016, Air Belgium aimed to operate flights between Belgium and Asia, especially China and India. In 2018, it will offer a single destination (Hong Kong) before gaining momentum, in particular, towards Martinique and Guadeloupe. In 2022, it offers 8 destinations. From 4 aircraft, its fleet will increase to 9 aircraft in 2023, of which 4 for passenger transport.

In 2022, the company will be greatly affected by the rising cost of kerosene. Despite the increase in the price of its tickets (25 euros and then 50 euros on all flights) and the contribution of new funds by some shareholders, in particular 6.5 million euros from the Chinese Hongyuan (which later became in the largest shareholder), the company cannot get out of the routine, unable to make its operations profitable.

Author: Olivier Chicheportiche
Source: BFM TV

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