A tale of giant eggs, chocolate eggs and talking planes
This Easter period we’ve installed a giant egg in the departures hall. During the first two weekends of the Easter holidays, we had an artist decorate the upper part of the egg. Kids were invited to go loose on the lower part. It made for this beautiful egg picture series.
But that was not all. Make-up artists needed no more than a few minutes to turn our smaller passengers into bold warriors or cute little princesses. Unless they preferred glitter tattoos.
We also distributed 30,000 chocolate Easter eggs, 10,000 colouring pictures, and 5,000 colouring pencils. You’re right, that does smell like a colouring contest. And a nice one at that, because your kids can win tickets for the exclusive pre premiere of the Disney movie Planes 2: Fire & Rescue at the airport. The airport? Yes, we’ll be installing a special pop-up cinema this summer to stage the movie. Seems like we have some stuff to look forward to.
On behalf of all of the Brussels Airport staff: we wish you a happy Easter and happy holidays!
We bumped into 5 rather unusual passengers today, waiting for their new owners in the arrivals hall. The organisation Pod and Co from Liège specialises in giving the Spanish Galgo and Podenco dogs a second life in Belgium and helped them find a warm and welcoming new family.
Since the beginning of this week, our flight information displays - aka these screens with flights on it- have a new layout.
We believe the new layout is orderly, with bigger letters and a light background so you can read all info more easily. But most of all, we’re interested in your opinion. So go ahead and judge for yourselves: what do you think of this new layout?
In case of doubt: old layout left, new layout right.
This week, we have an explosion of new routes. How about easyJet, starting new routes to Bordeaux, London Gatwick and Naples? Or Brussels Airlines, adding two fantastic holiday destinations: Athens and Seville. Not to mention Jetairfly, taking off to Tel Aviv, and, icing on the cake: American beach paradise Miami? And in the opposite direction: Eurolot starting direct flights to Wroclaw.
Wow. A lot of splendid destinations, but which one to start with? Vineyard covered resplendent Bordeaux, with its sand brick houses? The cosy alleyways of Naples with a side trip to Pompei or Amalfi? Underground hipster London? Sumptuous baroque Seville with its excellent tapas and vibrant street life? Culture hotbed Athens? Party capital Tel Aviv? Happy-go-lucky beach life in Miami? Or let’s take Wroclaw. Ever been there? It’s a neat city with colourful houses, cobblestones and hidden gnomes. All Polish cosiness. And surprisingly good food, if you do a bit of research.
Anyway, if you don’t find anything to your liking in the above, or if you prefer images to words, go ahead and browse all our direct destinations on our Pinterest boards. We’re pretty sure you’ll find just what you’re after.
Sven, Tarir-Mehamed, Sabrina and Jahjouh-Dali work in one of our Brussels Airport bars run by Autogrill, such as Bar Rouge or Belgian Beer Café in Pier A. Next Tuesday 1st of April is a big day for them, because they’ll defend the Brussels Airport honour in the Belgian preselection of the Stella Artois World Draught Masters Championship.
Why they participate? “Everywhere in the world, people have the right to drink a perfectly draught Stella Artois”, Sven explains. “Serving a good Stella Artois is just part of the job”, Tarir-Mehamed knows, while Sabrina participates because she wants to perfect her work and she also likes the technical challenge. Jahjouh-Dali wants to learn new things.
So, next time you drink your Stella Artois at the airport, you should consider yourself lucky to be served by these people. They are making sure you have a quality beer served with a smile and pride.
If you want to see them in full action during the preselections the 1st of April, just drop by in the Stella Artois pop-up bar next to check-in row 11. We wish them all the best for the contest and we hope to see them in the finals!
Rita from Wuustwezel and An from Dilbeek do have awesome prospects: with four bikes and their suitcases they’re about to check in for their flight to Asia. They’re all set for a two-week bike trip through Sri Lanka. Although we are fully confident the sun will stay in Belgium for a few more days, we have to admit this seems like an excellent plan.
Our passenger of the day Alex is travelling to Bogotá
Job in the spotlight: concrete formworker on the Connector building site
Daniel of CEI De Meyer works as formworker grade 2 on the building site of Connector. His tasks include the pouring of concrete floor slabs, filling hollow steel columns with concrete and finishing the prefabricated structures.
Daniel worked at the airport before on the Diabolo project, a railway projects that connects Brussels Airport to Antwerp by means of tunnels under the runways. “But this is much more fun than working underground”, he adds with a smile.
Daniel has been involved in the construction of Connector since the very start. He worked on the foundation and is now putting the finishing touch on several stairways and elevator shafts. In a few weeks the structural work will be completed and his work on the Connector site comes to an end.
Serge of CIT Blaton has been working as a carpenter/formworker on the Connector site since November. He specializes in complex form work including plinths and curves. “The important thing is to keep concentrated. Formwork like this requires precision”. Depending on the job at hand, Serge works with a team of 4 to 20 men.
“Huge buildings I helped erect can be found nearly everywhere in Belgium. I take a certain pride in that. But of course if you cast a bit of concrete in such a big project, it sort of disappears into the whole. Whereas if you work on smaller projects, such as a house, your work immediately catches the eye. That may be the only thing I regret about this job,” Serge nuances.
Whether he worked at the airport before? “No, but it isn’t that different from other construction sites. The same safety regulations apply as on any other site: hard hat, safety boots and high-visibility work clothes are compulsory. Apart from the view maybe.”
Our passenger of the day is not an ordinary one. Actually, they are two 4-year-olds and they’ve landed yesterday, Sunday 23rd of February. Their names are Hao Hao and Xing Hui and they are… yes, giant pandas.
Yearly, some 700 animals land at our airport. Throw in an extra million if you count the bees and bumblebees that are transported to help in agriculture. We have cats and dogs, spring chickens and race horses. But also exotic species like gorillas, manatees, elephants and lions. None have ever sparked more excitement and emotions in our little country than the arrival of these 2 giant pandas from China.
They sure had a pandastic journey. Most human passengers will never experience such in-flight hospitality. The most experienced Chinese Panda specialists /vets and 1 attendant from the Pairi Daiza zoo personally accompanied them during their journey. They got a complete wide-bodied aircraft all to themselves, a spacious and comfy cage with a view each, stacked with 100 kilos of the finest bamboo cuisine so they wouldn’t get hungry during their trip. According to the vets who flew with them, they did nothing but sleep and eat the whole trip – it is what pandas do for a living.
The striking canary-yellow livery of the DHL Boeing 767 that was sent to Chengdu to pick up the young couple was decorated with a special panda livery. It continues to fly its scheduled network all over the world for another few weeks, so watch out and keep your head in the clouds to catch a glimpse of this panda plane.
As for Hao Hao and Xing Hui: we wish them an excellent stay in Belgium, and like everyone, we secretly hope that their honeymoon in Belgium will result in the cutest little baby pandas.
Jef and Hendrika from Antwerp are flying with United to Newark today. From there they’re moving on to Costa Rica. They’re leaving for an epic Central America trip from the sweltering heat of San José to the city hustle and bustle of San Francisco. In between, this adventurous couple is going to explore Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. They’ll be back in May, so the temperature shock will be minimal. Or so do they hope. We wish them safe travels and stunning stories to tell when they return!
Countdown? What for? We’ve gathered some tips…
Sandra from Germany caught our attention cheering up the departures hall with her playful ukulele tunes. She’s doing her Erasmus year in Brussels and she’s waiting for a friend to pick her up after she returned from a well deserved Christmas holiday break at home. We wish her loads of success with her studies and a very pleasant stay in Belgium!
Cuddly toys found at the airport
Nothing more heartbreaking than a lonely little cuddly toy abandoned in a big and busy airport. Luckily, people notice them and bring them to the airport’s Lost & Found service. Many of them found their way home throughout the year. Except the little darlings on these pictures. We really, really would like these little friends to be home with their family for Christmas, so please help us spread the word and let us know if any of these is your missing cuddly toy. You can reach out to us by sending us a photo of your child(ren) with this lost cuddly toy + date you lost it via Twitter, Facebook, or via the Lost & Found form on our website.
Throughout the year, a total of about 13,000 items were lost at the airport. That’s a stunning number. Some of these items are quite valuable: wallets, smartphones, laptops, jewelry. Our colleagues Alain, Christel, Georges, Gunter, Marc and Rudi at Lost & Found make it their daily business to try to locate as many rightful owners as possible and send them back home. Last year, over 3000 passengers were happy to retrieve their lost items here at the airport, or received them via mail at their home in Aalborg, Zurich and the whole alphabet of places in between.