New Belgian belly carrier Air Belgium receives air operator certificate

New Belgian belly carrier – Air Belgium – is set to take to the skies soon after it secured an Air Operator Certificate (AOC).

The certificate has been approved by Belgium’s Direction Générale Transport Aérien (DGTA) on 13 March.

And the Mont-Saint-Guibert-headquartered start-up carrier reportedly hopes to launch flights to Hong Kong by mid-April.

Earlier this year, Air Belgium took delivery of two former Finnair Airbus A340s, which are among four it will receive.

Air Belgium will be based out of Brussels South Airport in Charleroi, but due to the slightly short runway outbound sectors will initially be cargo payload-restricted, but there will be no restrictions westbound.

Cargo restrictions are expected to be lifted once the runway is extended at Brussels South Airport.

Air Belgium has set its sights on operating further routes in China and Asia from Brussels South Airport. The carrier has a starting capital of €20 million, divided among Belgian and European majority shareholders and Asian minority shareholders.