Today, flights resumed at Zaventem airport in Brussels – three “symbolic” Brussels Airlines flights which airport chief executive Arnaud Feist said “… are the first hopeful sign from an airport that is standing up straight after a cowardly attack.”Stringent new security checks were put in place after police threatened to go on strike if measures were not improved.
Passengers were asked to arrive three hours before their flight departure time. They are only able to get to the airport by car or taxi – the terminal is still closed to trains and buses.
Under the new security arrangements:
• vehicles and passengers travelling to the temporary departures area will be screened on the access road. Special cameras will check number plates
• an additional police check and ID and boarding pass check will take place at the entrance to the temporary departures area. Those not flying will not be allowed in
• passengers will then proceed towards the departure gates, undergoing the usual access and security controls
However, one American airline will not be resuming service to Brussels anytime soon. In a statement, Delta said “due to the continued uncertainty surrounding the re-opening of Brussels airport and weakening demand, Delta will suspend service between Atlanta and Brussels until March 2017.
Delta remains committed to the Belgium market and will resume service between New York-JFK and Brussels once the airport provides clearance for international operations. Customers affected by the schedule change will be re-accommodated on alternative Delta services or flights operated by joint venture partners Air France and KLM.”
Yes, it would seem demand would be “weakening,” considering the State Department recently announced a travel warning to U.S. citizens for all of Europe. The State Department’s current warning expires on June 20th which seems somewhat arbitrary. Looks like Delta Airlines is taking the long view.Just think – by the time Delta Airlines resumes flights to Brussels, we’ll have a new president in the White House.
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]