An other sad day in Belgian aviation today. Yes, you're right, it's already the fourth Belgian airline to cease operations within less than three years. I don't see much future in the Brussels National Airport, most Belgian airlines are dead (one that none of you mentioned is TEA), god knows if DHL will stay (we'll know that in September), there are always arguments about the departure paths over the city of Brussels,...what will that airport become? I see BRU
as a regional airport compared to CDG
The Belgian press was interviewing flight crews today, pilots said they would continue to fly anywhere but Belgium, F/A's said sadly they would have to reconsider another career! Some F/A's went through a demise twice: Sabena late 2001 and Sobelair early 2004.
A little bit of history: Sobelair was founded in 1946 and began flying to various destinations in Africa, the first aircraft was a DC-6 or DC-7, then they purchased the Boeing 707 at the beginning of the jet age. It was in 1960 when there was the revolution in Congo that Sabena had a large amont of stakes in Sobelair, Sobelair then became Sabena's charter subsidiary...until today (early 2004) unfortunately.
Sobelair has operated for a long time, like its parent company Sabena, the Boeing 737-200 aircraft on flights within Europe and points in the Mediteranean Sea, mostly holiday destinations. Then they added the 737-300, 400 but not the 500, it's normal because what they needed was extra capacity so that they could sell (through travel agencies and tour operators) more seats to holiday travellers at a low cost, I'm not surprised they didn't have the shorter 500 variant.
They added also the Boeing 767-300 aircraft for long haul flights, they had three or four of those, wasn't one of those leased from SAS? I think so, or maybe I'm confusing with a 767 painted in white that I saw one day parked near Sabena Technics. About the Boeing 767 and long haul network, they had a year ago a nonstop flight BRU
but it turned out that the route was not profitable, it lasted not more than six months. A Sobelair-SNBA marriage has recently been ruled out.
They had a couple of winglet equiped Boeing 737-800 Series aircraft, but those didn't last long, of course not. The 800 is brand new so it didn't have much time to be in service with the airline before bankruptcy was declared. Sabena never flew NG737's.
Sobelair is now resting in peace.