First Boeing 747-8 for Air Belgium unveiled

From this year, Air Belgium will fly two 747-8Fs for the Hongyuan Group, a logistics giant from China. The ex-Saudia aircraft (M-ABOV and M-ABOW) are both nine years old and leased from Aircraft Finance Germany. They get a Belgian registration.

The Hongyuan Group aims to make Brussels its main European gateway and hub for general cargo and e-commerce transportation. Last autumn, the company opened a warehouse of 8,000 square meters at Zaventem.

According to the Belgian aviation websites Aviation24 and Flightlevel, the Hongyuan Group also plans to acquire a nearly 50 percent stake in Air Belgium from its current Hong Kong shareholders. The rest of the company will then remain in Belgian hands.

Freight transport is not new to Air Belgium. Since last year, the company has been flying from Liège and Brussels with Airbus A330-200 Freighters for the French CMA CGM, a large French shipping company that is also increasingly focusing on air freight transport.

The general public knows Air Belgium mainly from the passenger flights that are operated from Charleroi and Brussels. The Belgians have two Airbus A330-900s and two Airbus A340-300s at their disposal for this. Air Belgium flies to Curacao, Mauritius and the Dominican Republic, among others.

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