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Brussels-National Airport reopens.

Brussels-National Airport will reopen its doors on Sunday morning April 3, 2016, with a traffic capacity reduced to only 20%. In the meantime, the scheduled flights are either cancelled or moved to a nearby regional airport.

The European flights of Brussels Airlines that are not cancelled are operated to and from Liège airport or Deurne (Antwerp) airport (in both cases, with available free bus service to/from Brussels-center). The flights of Thomas Cook are operated to and from Liège Airport (bus service between Liège airport and Heverlee). The international flights of Brussels Airlines to and from Africa or America are operated to/from Zurich or Frankfurt with connection to/from Deurne or Liège.

Jetair flights are carried out mainly from/to the airport of Ostend (bus service between the airport and Heysel). Vueling, Easyjet, and Aegean flights which are not cancelled are operated from/to Lille Airport in France (those of Vueling on 24 March to and from the airport of Liège).

As for other airlines, passengers may generally change their travel date or their destination for free. Some of these airlines, including Lufthansa, El Al, Air Italia and British Airways, operate still a few flights to/from Liège airport. The latter is located about 100 km away from Brussels downtown (1h by car) and only 10 km (10 min by car) away from Liège Guillemins railway station.

The trains with Air France flight number run to and from Brussels-Midi station as usual. Charleroi Airport (Brussels South) which mainly hosts flights of Ryanair, Wizz, Jetair and Pegasus works as usual. The scheduled flights of Ryanair to/from Brussels-National and those of Air Arabia are moved to Charleroi Airport.

In all airports, security controls are strengthened and take more time. When Brussels-National Airport will reopen its doors, all scheduled flights will not resume on the first day. In fact, on April 3, only three flights of Brussels Airlines will depart from Brussels Airport. The number of flights will increase gradually the following days. Jetair has moved its activities to Ostend until April 10, Thomas Cook to Liège until April 11, and Ryanair to Charleroi till April 7.

March 22, 2016: Belgium - Deadly terror attacks in Brussels.

This morning, two bombings claimed by Daesh have been perpetrated in Brussels, the first in Brussels Airport, the second in Maelbeek metro station which is located near the district of the European Institutions. A first assessment reported 31 dead and more than 300 injured. The authorities have raised the alert level from 3 to 4, the highest level, and have extended it to the whole country. Brussels airport has been closed for the whole day. It will remain closed probably for a few days.

March 1, 2016: France/Belgium - Low cost high-speed trains between Paris and Brussels.

Thalys has just announced that low cost high-speed trains will run daily between Paris and Brussels under the name of Izy as from April 3, 2016. The standard price varies from € 19 to € 59. 10 tickets without guarantee you get a seat on board are available at only €10. Children under 12 travel for € 10 too.

In consideration of these low prices, the duration of the journey, averaging 2h15, is about 55 minutes longer than that of the classical Thalys. In addition, the services provided are limited: no bar on the trains and limited standard luggage allowance (one cabin luggage and one cabin luggage). Additional services (XL seat, extra bags, information by SMS) are rendered against payment. Tickets are sold through the web only and they are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

The economic model followed by Izy is similar to that of low-cost airlines. The project aims to compete with very cheap bus transport which is rather successful in this part of Europe. It is also inspired by the low cost high-speed trains that SNCF has developed in France under the name of Ouigo since 2013.


 

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