Brussels Airport reopens with three flights, tighter security

Brussels (AFP) – Brussels Airport was to reopen on Sunday with three “symbolic” flights and strict additional checks for passengers, marking a new high-security era for air travel in Belgium after attacks by Islamic State suicide bombers.

The key travel hub has been closed since two men blew themselves up in the departure hall on March 22 in coordinated blasts that also struck a metro station in the Belgian capital, killing a total of 32 people.

The departure hall was badly damaged, and a tent-like check-in facility is being used as a temporary substitute. The attacks at the heart of Europe shocked the country and many hope the airport’s reopening, even on a limited scale, will help turn the page on the traumatic events.

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Brussels Airport chief executive Arnaud Feist on Saturday said the partial resumption of services would start with three “symbolic passenger flights” to the southern Portuguese city of Faro, Athens and Turin, northern Italy.