March 22, 2016 was a black day for Brussels Airport because of the terror attacks of that day. It was also a tragic blow to Brussels Airlines, which has its home base at the airport, with the carrier’s flight operations massively disrupted by the closure of the airport for clean-up and security review and upgrade.
The airport is now slowly roaring back to life, enabling Brussels Airlines to resume operations on 3 April. The airline’s first non-stop long-haul flight out of Brussels was to Washington’s Dulles Airport on 6 April. The aircraft was given a moving, emotional welcome at the American airport upon landing (photo).
In a press statement by its German office, Brussels Airlines expressed its joy at being able to fly out its passengers to their destinations once again from its home airport. The carrier expressed its profound gratitude to all those who commiserated with it as a result of the tragic events of 22 March. “Our thoughts are with the victims of the terrible attacks as well as with their families and friends,” the statement said. Moreover, Brussels Airlines thanked all those who showed patience and understanding with it, adding that “we were deeply touched by the sympathy and the trust that were shown to us”.
Brussels Airlines CEO Bernard Gustin in a statement also expressed the airline’s gratitude for all the support it received from travel agents and tour operators. “We have done our utmost to bring thousands of Brussels Airlines passengers to their destination. This was possible thanks to our own flights, but also thanks to flight options provided by partners,” he added.
The resumption of operations at Brussels Airport is accompanied by additional safety regulations that must be followed strictly, the airline has announced. Passengers are requested to arrive at the airport well in time before their flight (2h for Schengen destinations, 3h for non-Schengen) and to print their tickets or boarding pass.