An Avro can easily make it between BRU and LIS (they even fly long haul to HEL).
Reason why the long flights are abandoned could be : too long flight times, too high fuel burn, too high operating costs.
Out of experience I can tell the inflight service is not very "business minded", nor are the flight attendants and the pilots. (English with a ridiculous Dutch accent and giving no flight info at all, just a brief "hello"). Some "flight crew commercial education" might come in useful. But in fact I feel sorry for those people : they don't realize what's happening above their heads and beyond their control.......
But most important of all : The company has no commercial identity. They change profile more often than a chameleon and have no clear image. At first they were going to cover almost the entire ex-Sabena network (impossible), concentrating on Business Pax. Then a few weeks later one of the bosses tells the press they will concentrate on O&D traffic, and then all of a sudden they want to create a hub around the Africa-flights.........This is no way to run an airline. If you're not big enough, then don't try everything at once but concentrate on 1 single target and stick to it.
I would also very much agree that adding 737 or 319s to the fleet would be most "stupid" thing to do. (sorry, can't find a more gentle word for it). They don't need narrow-bodies.
I also noticed that after the SN bankruptcy all employees had to undergo wage cuts up to 35% (correct figure ?), while the aircraft leasing contracts were left unchanged for months. Very efficient cost-(and motivation) cutting program : tackle the smaller costs first. I guess it was just some sort of "getting even", or just to have the pleasure of hitting those "annoying pilots" where it hurts. But they have given a perfect example of how it should not be done.
You might ask what I would propose to get DAT afloat again (haven't been giving much positive input so far, I reckon). Well I guess the best thing they could have done was to start completely from scratch, with a completely non-ex-SN-group management, and with adapted aircraft and a very well defined strategy, 100% private funding (now they're even more state-owned than Sabena has ever been, when you look further up the capital flow)
It might indeed sound very hard, but I have never found any reason to keep DAT alive, not even when they were under the warm cosy wings of mother Sabena. They were not the "low cost" operator everyone thinks them to be. Yeah, sure they didn't have marketing, reservation, ground handling and many overhead costs, but these were made at Sabena. The best thing SN could have done (which of course they didn't, a matter of respecting the Belgian logics) was to integrate the entire DAT into the SN-medium haul operations.
The management may say whatever it wants, but the persons in place are there, either with a secret mission to "gently guide the company to the grave" or either they are really naive or scared as hell. The intelligent ones are those who already left for other companies (TNT, DHL ?) and the most intelligent ones are those who never entered in the first place.
With the present market, the funding that was raised and the operational costs they now have, they must still be burning approximately 8-10 million Euros per month, which means that they might just celebrate the SN-collapse first birthday in a similar way.....