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Air Exel (Belgium)

Taken at Brussels in November 1990, the Saab 340 has small "Air Exel" titles and is still carrying the Swiss registration of partner Alphalines, but during 1991 reregistered to OO-RXL. (Photo: Skystef)


Base: Liège
Fleet: 2x Saab 340 (OO-RXL, OO-RXM), 2x Emb-120 Brasilia (leased from Air Exel France),
History: the Belgian member of the French Exel Group was formed on December 16 1988 with assistance from TEA to operate scheduled pax services from its Liège-Bierset base. Besides TEA who participated to deploy their charter activities at Liège, other shareholders were the chairman of the Air Exel Group and Luxembourg holding "Esquel" who umbrellad Air Exel France, Aeroleasing of France and Alphalines of Switzerland. First revenue flight (to Paris Orly) took off on February 20 1989 with a leased Brasilia from the mother company as they still had no own AOC at that moment, which only materialised in May 1991 on which the Belgian registered Saab 340's could be operated. Routes were expanded to Lyon, replaced by Nice during the summer period, Lourdes, Biarritz and London Gatwick. In May 1991 they were also briefly present at Antwerp airport as an intermediate stop on the London schedule after the demise of Air Europe Express who used to operate this route. But after a complaint about illegal Walloon state aid of Transport International Aérien (operating on the same route) and later also from another British airline "Euroworld" who started this route as well, they were soon forced to pull out. More bad news followed as during 1991: the French holding withdrew from Air Exel (Belgium), TEA went bankrupt in October 1991 (which briefly resulted in the take over of the BRU-LGW route) and the slowing down effect of the Gulf War, the Belgian affiliate ceased their operations on December 18 1991 and much later they were officially declared bankrupt on February 4 1998.


Belgian Airlines