Brussels Airport’s 2018 Aviation Awards – attends ceremony

Brussels Airport Awards

Brussels hosted its yearly awards ceremony on 27 February, inviting along to the evening, with this being the 12th edition of the annual prize giving. Pictured enjoying the night are part of the airport’s airline marketing team, including: Sonja Gehlen, Senior Aviation Development Manager; Léon Verhallen, Head of Aviation Development; Tania Ter-Ossepiantz, Airline & Trade Marketing Manager; Jonathan Ford, Aviation Development Editor,; Maarten Evenepoel, Senior Manager Aviation Marketing; Karen Bulterys, Market Development Specialist; Geert Van Dessel, Senior Manager Aviation Development; and Betty van de Nobelen, Passenger Marketing Manager.

On 27 February, Brussels Airport hosted its annual aviation awards ceremony, the 12th time that it has hosted the prize giving evening. The airport bestows these awards to honour those airlines and partners that have distinguished themselves over the preceding year in terms of network and cargo development, environment and safety, and punctuality and performance. The evening also proved to be a great networking event, with all of the airport’s partners able to mingle and talk developments for the coming year. To celebrate the awards even more, Brussels Airport invited to be part of the evening’s festivities, with Aviation Development Editor Jonathan Ford flying to the Belgian capital to take part.

Before revealing the identity of the award winners, here is a background summary of the developments that took place at Brussels Airport in 2018. The Belgian hub welcomed 25,675,939 passengers, with this representing a 3.6% increase versus the levels it processed in 2017. Looking at the cargo sector, the airport in total, across belly, full freighter, trucked and integrator cargo operations, processed 731,613 tons, with this representing a 5.8% increase in cargo handled in 2018 versus the previous year. 

The biggest network developments last year included the arrival of Cathay Pacific Airways and Georgian Airways, with the two airlines launching new routes from Hong Kong and Tbilisi respectively. A long-haul route to Shenzhen was also inaugurated by Hainan Airlines, complementing its existing services to Beijing and Shanghai Pudong. Flights to Mombasa and Puerto Plata were also introduced by TUI Airlines Belgium, otherwise known as TUIfly, while new European and Middle East connections in 2018 included Amman, Rennes, Kavala and Lesbos. Overall, nine new destinations were added to Brussels’ departure boards in 2018. 

The master of ceremonies for the evening’s awards presentation was the airport’s Head of Aviation Development, Léon Verhallen, who was also joined on stage by the hub’s Head of Cargo & Logistics, Steven Polmans, as both introduced the airline and supply chain nominees and winners of the night.

Short-Haul Airline Network Development: WINNER – Georgian Airways and TUI fly

Georgian Airways

One of the two winners of the Short-Haul Airline Network Development Award was Georgian Airways, a carrier which inaugurated a twice-weekly service from Tbilisi in 2018. Arnaud Feist, CEO, Brussels Airport, presented the award to Lia Kevkhishvili, Country Manager, Georgian Airways. A third weekly flight will be added in S19.

TUIfly Brussels Airport

TUIfly was the second winner in this category, given for its many short-haul developments in 2018. Arnaud Feist, CEO, Brussels Airport, presented the award to the company’s: Erik Follet, Director Flight Planning Belgium & Netherlands; Steven Piessens, Head of Commercial & Operational Planning; and Dieter Bruneel, Ground Operations Director.

This year, the award for short-haul airline network development was won by two airlines. Georgian Airways was one of the winners, being presented with the prize for the commencement of a twice-weekly service from Tbilisi, while the other award-winner was TUIfly, with it being handed the trophy for the further expansion of its holiday flight network from Brussels Airport to new destinations including Kalamata and Lesbos, while the airline itself also saw passenger growth from the airport in excess of 10% in 2018. The other nominees in this category were Air France, Brussels Airlines and Iberia.

Long-Haul Airline Network Development:WINNER – Cathay Pacific Airways

Cathay Pacific Airways Brussels

Arnaud Feist, CEO, Brussels Airport, presented the award to the airline’s: Nele De Kunst, Airport Operations Manager; Marco Van Naarden, Country Lead & Head of Sales Benelux; Anke De Prins, Account Manager Trade Belux; and Yolanda Jaen, Corporate Account Manager. Cathay Pacific Airways launched flights to Brussels on 25 March 2018 using its fleet of A350-900s.

Since the summer season of 2018, Cathay Pacific Airways has operated a four times weekly service from Hong Kong using their state-of-the-art A350-900s, with the service being a year-round operation. Other nominees in this category at this year’s awards were: Ethiopian Airlines, Hainan Airlines, RwandAir and TUIfly, with Ethiopian Airlines going non-stop to Addis Ababa, Hainan Airlines opening direct flights from Shenzhen, RwandAir expanding its passenger numbers to Kigali, and TUIfly adding more long-haul leisure destinations to its network from the Belgian capital.

Cargo Airline Network Development Award: WINNER – LATAM Cargo

Brussels Airport LATAM Airlines

Arnaud Feist, CEO, Brussels Airport, presented the Cargo Airline Network Development Award to LATAM Cargo, with the prize being collected by Jorge Carretero, Senior Manager Sales Central Europe, LATAM Airlines, and Jeremy Henno, Country Manager Belgium, Air Logistics Group. The airline operates freighter services from South America via Miami.

LATAM Cargo launched new cargo flights from the South American continent via Miami to Brussels Airport in 2018. The other nominees in this category were Asiana Airlines, Avianca Cargo, DHL Aviation and Turkish Airlines.

Short-Haul Airline Punctuality Award: WINNER – Eurowings

Brussels Airport Eurowings

The winner of the Short-Haul Airline Punctuality Award was Eurowings. Piet Demunter, Director Strategic Development, Brussels Airport, delivered the award to Gerd Donau, Area Manager, Eurowings.

Eurowings was the most punctual airline in 2018, with an on-time performance of 86% for its three daily flights to Stuttgart. Eurowings also operated flights to Berlin Tegel and Salzburg in 2018. The other most punctual short-haul airlines were Aeroflot, Iberia, Finnair and KLM.

Long-Haul Airline Punctuality Award: WINNER – All Nippon Airways

All Nippon Airways

Piet Demunter, Director Strategic Development, Brussels Airport, presented the award to All Nippon Airways’ Tatsuya Endo, GM Brussels Office, and Director Administration and Sales, Masashi Takano.

All Nippon Airways was the long-haul flight winner for the second consecutive year, achieving an on-time performance of 88% for its daily flights to Tokyo Narita in 2018. The other nominees in this category were Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Thai Airways. All Nippon Airways has served Brussels since 25 October 2015, with it operating the route today using 787-9s, upgraded from the 787-8s that were used during the first few years of the route’s operation.

Cargo Airline Performance Award: WINNER – Singapore Airlines Cargo

Singapore Airlines Cargo Brussels

Singapore Airlines Cargo was crowned the winner of the Cargo Airline Performance Award. Piet Demunter, Director Strategic Development, Brussels Airport, presented the award to Marcel Stuhmer, Regional Director, Benelux and France, Singapore Airlines Cargo and Eugene Chew, Regional VP, Singapore Airlines Cargo.

Singapore Airlines operates an extensive network from Brussels Airport to America and Asia. The other nominees in the category were Asiana Airlines, Avianca Cargo, DHL Aviation and Turkish Airlines.

BRUcargo Award: WINNER – Worldwide Flight Services (WFS)

WFS Brussels Airport

Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) was the winner of the Brucargo Award. Piet Demunter, Director Strategic Development, Brussels Airport, Presented the award to Marc Claesen, Regional VP, Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), and Philippe Verdonck, GM Belgium, Worldwide Flight Services (WFS).

Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) pursued an open and constructive collaboration with the airlines and invested in new state-of-the-art facilities last year, with its investment landing them the BRUcargo Award for 2018. The other nominees were Brinks, Brussels Airlines, Nallian and YAN – Young Airfreight Network.

Logistics Provider Award: WINNER – DHL Global Forwarding

Brussels Airport DHL Logistics

Piet Demunter, Director Strategic Development, Brussels Airport, presented the Logistics Provider Award to David Bellon, Airfreight Product Station Director, DHL Global Forwarding Belgium.

In 2018, DHL Global Forwarding assumed a leading role in new pharma and BRU Cloud digitisation projects. The other nominees were Bpost, Freight4U Logistics, Kuehne + Nagel and Skyfas.

Environment Award: WINNER – Thai Airways 

Thai Airways Brussels Airport

The award was presented by Lode Ketele, Director Compliance & Operations Continuity, Brussels Airport to Christel Vandenhouten, Head of Sustainable Development, Brussels Airport, who collect the award on the airline’s behalf. Unfortunately, Thai Airways representatives were called back to the office due to the Pakistani airspace closure and its personal customer orientation to inform and re-book passengers.

Thai Airways International bagged this year’s environment award in recognition of its modern A350-900, which flies to Bangkok five times a week, and has the best per passenger performance in terms of noise and emissions.

Safety Award: WINNER – Tec4Jets

tec4jets Brussels Airport

The award was presented by Lode Ketele, Director Compliance & Operations Continuity, Brussels Airport, to Wim Uyttebroek, Belgium & Regional Station Manager – Accountable Manager, Tec4Jets, and Peter Vervliet, QA Manager.

Tec4Jets demonstrates a particularly positive and pro-active attitude towards aviation safety and thus scarcely features in the accident and incident statistics at Brussels Airport. Tec4Jets is ‘best in class’ for audits and support in training and sharing of expertise.


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