Brussels airport is trying out a temporary check-in area, Qantas has clarified options for passengers booked to Brussels, Australia has updated its advisory alert for Belgium, and Belgian flag carrier Brussels Airlines has said the closure of its hub is costing it EUR 5 million (AUD 7.4 million) a day.
Quite apart from the horrific injuries and loss of life in the Belgian capital, the economic impact of last week’s terrorist atrocities is hitting home. Zavantem airport may open later this week in a very limited capacity, only for a few Brussels Airlines flights initially.
In an advisory update yesterday, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said: “On 22 March, terrorist attacks at Brussels airport and at Maalbeek metro station in the EU district of central Brussels killed 32 people and injured more than 300.
“Operations at Zavantem airport remain severely disrupted and authorities have indicated they will remain so for some time. If you are scheduled to fly in or out of Zaventem, you should contact your airline or travel agent for latest information on disruptions.
“Belgium’s current National Terrorism Threat Level is Level 3 of 4, indicating that a serious and credible threat exists. Australians in Belgium should remain attentive to their surroundings, avoid affected areas and follow the instructions of local authorities. The level of advice has been lowered. We now advise Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in Belgium.”
Qantas said the following options are available to its customers holding a valid ticket issued on/before 23 March 2016 who are affected by the situation in Brussels for travel to/from Brussels, Belgium on/after 23 March and on/before 07April 2016.
For customers holding a Qantas (081) issued ticket:
Passengers may, without fee:
- Reroute/Rebook travel to BRU
- using an alternate Qantas service with a ‘QF’ flight number operated by Qantas or Emirates or Emirates service with ‘EK’ flight number operated by Emirates or Qantas.
- Reroute/Rebook travel to AMS/CDG/DUS/FRA/HAM (within 7 days of the original ticketed flight)
- (additional fare/ticket taxes and Change Fee do not apply) – using an alternate Qantas service with ‘QF’ flight number operated by Qantas or Emirates service with ‘EK’ flight number operated by Emirates or Qantas.
- Change Destinations
The value of the existing ticket can be used towards the purchase of a new ticket. If the new fare is more expensive than the existing ticketed fare, the fare difference is payable by the passenger. Applicable surcharges, fees and taxes may apply.
- Retain the value of the ticket in credit
Retain the value of the ticket in credit for future travel within 12 months from the original ticketed date of departure. If the new fare is more expensive than the existing ticketed fare, the fare difference is payable by the passenger. Applicable ticket surcharges, fees and taxes may apply.
- For customers who have commenced their journey a full refund of the affected sector(s) will be available.
- For customers who have not commenced their journey a full refund will be available.
Full details are available here: http://www.qantas.com/agents/dyn/qf/info/201603/0310
Written by Peter Needham