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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 merged with SN Brussels Airlines to form Brussels Airlines, which started operations on 25 March 2007. Virgin Express' head office was in Building 116 at Brussels Airport in Zaventem, Belgium, near Brussels.
|Founded||April 23, 1996|
|Ceased operations||March 25, 2007 (merged with SN Brussels Airlines to form Brussels Airlines)|
|Frequent-flyer program||Flight Club|
|Subsidiaries||Virgin Express France|
|Parent company||SN Airholding|
|Headquarters||Building 116, Brussels Airport, Zaventem, Belgium|
|Key people||Neil Burrows (CEO) |
Richard Branson (chairman of Virgin Group)
Virgin Express was founded on April 23, 1996, when the Virgin Group (with chairman Richard Branson) bought the Belgian leisure airline EBA - EuroBelgian Airlines, founded by Victor Hasson and Georges Gutelman, and rebranded it Virgin Express. 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.
On March 31, 2006, SN Brussels Airlines and Virgin Express announced their merger into a single company, named Brussels Airlines. The combined airline added long haul destinations and strengthened its position in Africa.
Three Boeing 737-300 (OO-VEX, OO-VEG and OO-VEH) were fitted with winglets (March 2007). The airline operated a maximum of 26 737s 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. The airline has since phased out its Boeing 737s.
Virgin Express also had formerly operated the following aircraft:
|Airbus A320-200||1||1997||1997||Leased from Constellation International Airlines|
|Boeing 737-200||2||1997||1997||Leased from AirFoyle Passenger Airlines|
|Lockheed L-1011 TriStar||1||1998||1998||Leased from Aer Turas|
|McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30||1||1998||1998||Used for charter flights for summer|
- Airliner World January 2007
- "Contact Us." Virgin Express. 22 January 2005. Retrieved on 26 June 2010. "."
- "imaging/IMG_directions_599x556.jpg." Virgin Express. Retrieved on 26 June 2010.
- Company profile virgin-express.com
- "Destinations | Brussels Airlines". brusselsairlines.com. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
- Flight International, 3–9 October 2006
- "Virgin Express Fleet Details and History". Planespotters.net. Retrieved February 7, 2022.
Media related to Virgin Express at Wikimedia Commons