On Saturday October 28 Brussels Airlines said goodbye to the AVRO Jet, the aircraft type the airline was launched with. In the past the airline has operated more than 30 of the BAE 146/AVRO RJ family of jets and on Saturday several aviation fans flew to Geneva on the Avro’s last commercial flight for Brussels Airlines. Now, the carrier has an all-Airbus fleet.
The touchdown of RJ100, OO-DWD, on flight SN2720 Geneva-Brussels at 19:40 on Saturday evening, marked the end of the carrier’s AVRO era. Over the past 15 years, 31.5 million Brussels Airlines passengers boarded the 4-engined aircraft type, on the 606,000 flights to 89 different destinations. The AVRO was a regular guest at airports like Bromma (Stockholm), Copenhagen, Marseille, Lyon, Geneva, Oslo, Manchester and Berlin.
Many aviation fans and long-time Brussels Airlines customers were present on the last commercial flight. One of them even travelled all the way from the United States to Brussels only to be on the farewell flight of the AVRO. Indeed, the AVRO has become a rare aircraft in Europe. The few aircraft that are left only fly in Ireland, Great Britain, Sweden and Greece. Some of these served for Brussels Airlines before.
On Sunday the airline’s staff bid farewell to the aircraft type that carried millions of passengers over the years, on which hundreds of its pilots and flight attendants started their careers and on which several Brussels Airlines engineers worked during its maintenance.
Bernard Gustin, CEO Brussels Airlines comented: “It is with a lot of gratitude and nostalgia that we look back on the AVRO era. It was the aircraft with which Brussels Airlines as born and took its very first steps. The AVRO was an important and successful chapter in Brussels Airlines’ history, it has brought millions of passengers safe and sound to their destination and for hundreds of our crews it was a springboard for their career.”