Brussels Airlines Avro RJ100s return to Bruxelles after airport reopens


Bruxelles’ Zaventem Airport re-opened on 3 April, twelve days after being closed because of a terrorist attack. During the airport’s closure, Brussels Airlines relocated most of its Avro RJ100s to Antwerpen to operate a limited schedule from there. Five RJ100s (OO-DWB, -DWC, -DWD, -DWE, -DWG, and -DWI) were ferried to Antwerpen on 24 March and began operations that same day. As Zaventem’s reopening was repeatedly pushed back, all of Brussels Airlines’ twelve RJ100s ended up operating from Antwerpen at some time, with aircraft being swapped as needed, or making brief returns to Zaventem for maintenance. OO-DWB and -DWI operated from Antwerpen the longest, arriving on 24 March and only returning to Zaventem on 7 April (except for an overnight visit to Zaventem for maintenance from 31 March to 1 April by -DWB). OO-DWL had the briefest stay at Antwerpen, arriving on the morning of 3 April and returning to Zaventem the following evening, having operated only three roundtrips. As plans to reopen Zaventem were firmed up, the RJ100s were gradually ferried back. OO-DWC and -DWE returned on 1 April, and OO-DWG arrived on 2 April (directly from Belfast, where she had had technical problems the previous day). OO-DWA and -DWF arrived on 3 April. Initial operations from Zaventem were tightly restricted because the main departure hall remains closed as a result of the bomb damage it suffered. Only three outbound flights were operated on 3 April, one of them flown by RJ100 OO-DWE (SN1795 to Torino). Operations were gradually extended in the following days, but are likely to remain below previous levels for some time. As operations from Zaventem resumed, operations from Antwerpen were gradually drawn down and the remaining RJ100s were ferried back. Four RJ100s were operating from Antwerpen on 5 April, and three remained there until 7 April. That evening, all three were ferried back to Zaventem. OO-DWB was the last to do so, arriving at Zaventem at 1835Z, as SN9912. During their stay at Antwerpen, the RJ100s generally operated two or three roundtrips a day. Unlike their regular schedule, which saw many overnighting at their destinations so as to operate early morning flights to Bruxelles, most operations from Antwerpen were same-day roundtrips, with just a few exceptions.

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