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Air Belgium



Taken at Brussels in May 1995, this B757 is wearing the old color scheme which is slightly revised in the tail.  (Photo: Skystef)

 

Base: Brussels
IATA: AJ
ICAO: VY, ABB
Fleet: 1x B707 (OO-ABA), 8x B737 (OO-ABB, OO-ILF, OO-ILG, OO-ILH, OO-ILJ, OO-ILK, OO-PLH, OO-RVM) + 1x B737 leased from Sobelair (OO-SBT), 1x B757 (OO-ILI), 2x A320 (OO-AEY, OO-AEZ), 2x Falcon 20DC (OO-STE, OO-STF)
History: formed on May 3 1979 as Abelag Airways by tour operator Sun International, general aviation company Abelag Aviation and Herfurth (owner of handling agent Belgavia which became Aviapartner) to provide IT pax charters mostly to Mediterranean resorts. Operations from its Brussels base began the same month with the lease of an B707. Abelag Aviation withdrew from the project, changing the name to Air Belgium on February 15 1980. From Summer 1983 onwards a cooperation with Sobelair started resulting in a change of aircraft during peak moments and in 1991 Sobelair took even a stake of 35% in Air Belgium. From the mid eighties onwards, some parcel flights were also operated on behalf of DHL initially with Falcon 20's, later upgraded to a B737-300. On October 29 1990 charter activities were extended to Fort Lauderdale, followed by flights to Mexico. On November 21 1991 scheduled services were started to Palma, later followed to Alicante, Faro, Funchal, Malaga, Las Palmas and Tenerife. During February 1998 British tour concern "Airtours" bought "Sun International" and this resulted in April 1999 in the buy-out Air Belgium and also the take-over of the remaining stake of Sobelair, which led to the introduction of the Airbus A320. During the summer of 2000 it was announced that all activities would cease on October 31 2000 due to the heavy competition in this market segment. 

 

Belgian Airlines