Virgin Express

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Virgin Express
Virginexpress logo.png
IATA
TV
ICAO
VEX
Callsign
VIRGIN EXPRESS
Founded 1996
Ceased operations 2006 (merged with SN Brussels Airlines to form Brussels Airlines)
Hubs Brussels Airport
Fleet size 10 (22 max)
Destinations 24
Parent company SN Airholding
Headquarters Building 116
Brussels Airport
Zaventem, Belgium
Key people

Neil Burrows (CEO);

Richard Branson, chairman Virgin Group
Website virginexpress.com

N.V. Virgin Express S.A. was an airline created within the Virgin Group. It operated flights mainly to southern Europe from its hub at Brussels Airport. Ticket sales were mainly through the Internet. The airline has merged with SN Brussels Airlines to form Brussels Airlines which started operations on 25 March 2007 [1] Virgin Express has its head office in Building 116 at Brussels Airport in Zaventem, Belgium, near Brussels.[2][3]

History[edit]

Virgin Express started on 23 April 1996, when the Virgin Group (with chairman Richard Branson) bought the Belgian leisure airline EBA (EuroBelgian Airlines) and rebranded it into Virgin Express.[4] It also took over EBA's fleet of Boeing 737s and operated this type of aircraft from thereon. The airline soon concentrated on low-budget scheduled flights out of its Brussels hub, and became a major competitor for Sabena and later SN Brussels Airlines. In October 2004, the Virgin Group sold its assets to SN Brussels Airlines, and both airlines were integrated into the parent holding company SN Airholding, chaired by Viscount Etienne Davignon. On 31 March 2006, SN Brussels Airlines and Virgin Express announced their fusion into a single company, named Brussels Airlines. The combined airline added long haul destinations and strengthened its position in Africa.[citation needed]

Previous contributors appear to have conveniently omitted the existence of a lingering thorn in the side of VEX BRU by way of Virgin Express Ireland which was incorporated in 1999. This resulted from strike action by the Belgians leading to Branson deciding to "split the fleet" and operate aircraft on the Irish register. Eventually Branson was to close this side of the company down under very dubious circumstances claiming at first to have several interested parties vying to buy the operation. Eventually, of course, no such sale was effected and instead all employees made redundant.

Destinations[edit]

Fleet[edit]

A Boeing 737-300 of Virgin Express

The Virgin Express fleet consisted of the following aircraft (as of August 2006):[5]

Virgin Express Fleet
Aircraft Total
Boeing 737-300 5
Boeing 737-400 5

Three Boeing 737-300 (OO-VEX, OO-VEG and OO-VEH) were fitted with winglets (March 2007). All the aircraft of Virgin Express have now been painted in Brussels Airlines colours. The airline operated a maximum of 26 737 at its peak, and was given the first Joint Aviation Authorities air operator's certificate delivered by the Belgian Civil Aviation Authorities.

After the merger, all ten of the Virgin Express fleet went to Brussels Airlines. Brussels Airlines has since phased out its Boeing 737s.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Airliner World January 2007
  2. ^ "Contact Us." Virgin Express. 22 January 2005. Retrieved on 26 June 2010. "."
  3. ^ "imaging/IMG_directions_599x556.jpg." Virgin Express. Retrieved on 26 June 2010.
  4. ^ Company profile virgin-express.com
  5. ^ Flight International, 3–9 October 2006

External links[edit]