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Abelag Airways

Taken at Paris (CDG) in 1980 when briefly leased to UTA, the B707 is wearing basic colors of previous Canadian operator "Pacific Western".  (Photo: collection Skystef)


Base: Brussels
Fleet of Abelag Airways: 1x B707 (OO-ABA), 1x B737 (OO-ABB)
History: formed on May 3 1979 by tour operator Sun International, general aviation company Abelag Aviation, and Herfurth (owner of handling agent Belgavia which became Aviapartner) to provide IT and ad hoc 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 flights were also operated on behalf of DHL. 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 consortium "Airtours" bought "Sun International" and this resulted in April 1999 in the buy-out of 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