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During the yearly Night of the SME’s Flanders (Small and Medium Enterprises) hosted in the Hilton Hotel Antwerpen, Marcel Buelens was rewarded with the “Personality of the Year” award. A total of 7 awards were handed out to enterprises and individuals who made a substantial contribution to the economy (today and tomorrow).
Since Marcel Buelens’ arrival as CEO, Antwerp International Airport has realized an impressive and sustainable passenger growth of +128%, attracted TUI as new client and added many new routes.
Mr. Buelens was elected by the members because of his “enormous efforts to revitalise Antwerp International Airport”.
In his first reaction Marcel Buelens declared: ‘This is a wonderful surprise! I wish to dedicate the trophy to the fantastic staff of Antwerp- and Ostend Airport who put in so much effort -night and day- to develop the regional airports of the future. “
The passenger terminal of the airport of Ostend-Bruges has been upgraded. The impact of the attacks of 22 March 2016 at regional airports and the increasing demand of passengers to depart from regional airports has lead to major investments. The exterior of the terminal is renovated and € 1.000.050 has been invested in a new airside departure hall.
The security zone has been extended, a VIP lounge was created and passengers on airside are able to enjoy several catering and shopping facilities. The airport joined forces with Erasmus Catering Services, based in Rotterdam. A company with almost 80 years of experience in the catering world, both airline catering services as well as pubs and restaurants.
This include an additional conveyor belt for the luggage of passengers. “If you only have one and it does not work, then you have a problem,” said CEO Marcel Buelens.
Belgian consumer organization rates 178 airports.
Belgian consumer organization Test-Aankoop invited over 11.000 passengers to rate airports they have used for their recent travels. Antwerp and Ostend-Bruges received exceptional ratings for quality.
Among all Belgian airports, the airports situated in Flanders received the highest average scores. Antwerp was even elected into the world’s top 5 after Singapore Changi, Tokyo Narita, Porto and before Doha International Airport. Both airports realized substantial better scores than most airports in the survey, especially in terms of sense of security, signage and security check.
The consumer organisation attributes also excellent ratings to Ostend-Bruges Airport by granting 4 stars. The participating passengers assigned 8 points for signage, 7,7 for security check and 8 for the general sense of safety at the Airport.
In September Ostend-Bruges Airport welcomed one of world’s largest aircraft; the ANTONOV 124 during its ferry flights above Belgian airspace.
TUIfly has announced its 20th destination from Ostend-Bruges Airport. Since 6th April 2017, TUIfly chartered 2 flights a week to Eskisehir in Turkey. There is a large Turkish community living in Belgium of which 65% originate from this region.
At Ostend Airport we recently renovated Apron 3. This Apron will be used by flight training schools and also for General Aviation users. Ostend-Bruges Airport has been a popular stopover for traffic between UK and the European continent for many years now. The airport is an interesting alternative for General Aviation; it is ideally located for refueling and filling in immigration forms as it is often the first point of entry in the Schengen zone. But Ostend Airport is not only interesting as point of transit, Ostend, Bruges and Flanders Fields offer many touristic opportunities for General Aviation visitors.
The new apron 3 was officially inaugurated during a press and network event on the 21st October.