The departures section of Zaventem National Airport has been working at full check-in capacity since Thursday. The hall has been working at partial access since May 1st. This means that all passengers can now register in the hall, with the temporary structures installed at the beginning of April no longer needed.
“It is easier for travelers; they no longer need to find out where to go. Everyone goes to the same place”, which is the departure hall, just as before the attacks, explained Nathalie Van Impe, Spokesperson of Brussels Airport Company (BAC).
Previously, some passengers still had to go to the temporary pre-check-in structures installed to allow the reopening of Brussels Airport following the explosion in the departure hall last March 22nd.
This complete reopening will not have a direct effect on the capacity of flights from Brussels Airport. However, BAC plans to shortly increase capacity. “Presently there are 28 flights per hour. We expect to reach 44 flights per hour at the end of June, handling the holiday departures peak,” added Nathalie Van Impe.
Also, the airport is being progressively being used more and more. All airlines have returned. “But we are still 15% below last year. There has been an increase, but demand for flights abroad is the determining factor. Action for recovering Belgium’s reputation is very important for us,” said the spokesperson.
The elimination of systematic checks before entering the buildings has also had a positive effect on the airport’s activity. “This has provided a better flow,” stated Mrs. Van Impe. “The average time passengers take to go from arrival at the airport to the departure gate is less than one hour, like before the attacks.”
Brussels Airport does not yet have definitive figures regarding the financial impact of the attacks, “but it has cost us approximately 80 to 90 million euros in income prior to payments made by insurance companies.”
Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)