Delta Air Lines Inc. will restart service from Atlanta to the European city of Brussels next March, which would be a year after it was rocked by twin terrorist bombings at the airport and a train station.
One of two bombs at the airport exploded just in front of the Delta check-in counter at Brussel-Zaventem airport. Delta customers were among the more than 30 killed.
“It has been a difficult few months for the local community but we remain committed to Belgium and showing our support by operating two daily flights, which will benefit both the traveling public and also the local economy,” said Dwight James, Delta’s senior vice president for trans-Atlantic service, in a statement.
The restored Atlanta service will leave at 5:40 p.m. and arrive in Brussels at 8:20 a.m. On the European side, it will leave Brussels at 11 a.m. and arrive at 2:45 p.m. at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. It is to complement ongoing Delta service from New York, which was resumed when the airport reopened after the attacks.
Atlanta’s Belgian community was shaken up by the bombings in more ways than one, with some having travel plans disturbed by airport closures and others feeling the ripple effects of the injured all the way back here. A vigil was held here to reflect on the tragedy and express solidarity with the country.
During an interview, newly arrived Belgian Consul General in Atlanta William De Baets told Global Atlanta that the violence and subsequent state of alert have dampened tourist travel this year.
Restarting the flights will add convenience for Belgian companies with operations in Atlanta and throughout the South and will help Belgium sell itself as an investment destination, he said.
“It’s important for the businesspeople of both countries, and it’s also one of the assets we can use when we say, ‘Come and invest in Belgium. There’s a direct flight,’” Mr. De Baets told Global Atlanta. “If we don’t have that, we lose one of these assets.”
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