BelgiumExcel to fill Sobelair’s shoes
11 February 2004
BRUSSELS – A brand new Belgian airline has announced a deal with one of the biggest customers of the country’s bankrupt charter carrier, Sobelair.
BelgiumExcel will operate all long-haul flights for Thomas Cook Belgium, one of the country’s biggest tour operators.
The new airline should begin operations at the end of this month and will operate flights for Thomas Cook to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Kenya and Zanzibar. Sobelair flew all of these routes for the same tour operator before it went bust in January this year.
BelgiumExcel belongs to Dutch group Excel aviation and it is not yet clear whether the new carrier will be registered here or in the Netherlands.
It will however keep one aircraft permanently based at Zaventem airport, just outside of Brussels.
Excel aviation operates flights out of the Netherlands itself – flying under the names KLMExcel and HollandExcel – in Italy (GrandaExcel), Spain (AlbaExcel) and the Dutch Antilles (ArubaExcel).
Thomas Cook executive Wim DeSmet said his company had chosen BelgiumExcel to take over the old Sobelair routes because it was already working successfully with HollandExcel.
“The collaboration with a single partner airline which has three aircraft for long haul flights out of the Benelux countries, will allow us to create synergies,” he explained.
BelgiumExcel is currently looking to hire 50 staff to run its Belgian operations.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Belgian news