Brussels Airport to resume flights with limited capacity

Brussels, March 29 (IANS) Brussels Airport on Tuesday announced a trial reopening of the airport following a double bomb blast on March 22, with a capacity of 800 passengers per hour compared with the normal flow of 5,000 per hour.

“We have set up a temporary pre-fabricated construction. We must be sure that it runs well technically. If it is not safe for travellers and staff, we will not start,” Arnaud Feist, Brussels Airport CEO, told Flemish newspaper De Standaard.

The March 22 terror attacks in Brussels, on Zaventem airport and the Maalbeek Metro station, claimed 35 lives and injured at least 270 people.

Priority will be given to Schengen-area European flights and flights to Africa where Brussels Airlines, Belgium’s national airline, will be allocated a large part of the limited capacity, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Schengen area is a border-free zone of 26 European countries that have abolished the use of passports or other types of border control at their common borders, mostly functioning as a single country for international travel purposes with a common visa.

Feist added that he did not think the terror attacks would have a long-term impact on the airport, and it could take several months for the bomb-damaged terminal building to fully return to normal.

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