Antwerp Airport restarts flights to London

Antwerp Airport restarted its connection to London on Monday. Luxair is responsible for the connection to London City Airport. The Luxembourg-based airline will fly to the British capital four times a week. 

Late last year - after a lot of lobbying and months of studies - the Flemish government approved the expansion of the Deurne and Ostend airports for both tourist and business flights. Restarting the flights to London is a major part of that expansion. 

"The government of Flanders was very positive," says Antwerp alderman for Mobility and Tourism Koen Kennis. "It was recognised that regional airports contribute to the local economy." 

Nevertheless, many oppose the expansions of the airports in Antwerp and Ostend. They point to the millions in taxpayers' money going to the airports and their proximity to Zaventem. The mandatory renewal of environmental permits next year and possible building violations from the past also worry them.

Supporters point to Antwerp's role as a world city with its port and diamond industry, and potential benefits for tourism in Flanders. In addition, regional airports can be useful in case of major strikes in Brussels and are important for military purposes and flight training. 

Plans to implement 'sustainable fuels', better cooperation with Zaventem and a so-called single remote tower, should create a broader support base for the airports. The final master plans should be ready by the end of 2023. 



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