February 17, 2016

2301 BELGIUM - Au revoir, Sabena!

The airplane has long ceased to be just a means of transport. It changed not only our lives, but also our way of thinking, and has shaped deeply our culture. We can reach in places of which we even didn't dreamed before its appearance, we can get things that didn't even know that exists. It is therefore part of our daily lives, in one way or another, and airlines are an important vector in this regard.

The Societé Anonyme Belge d'Exploitation de la Navigation Aérienne (Belgian Corporation for Air Navigation Services), better known as Sabena, the national airline of Belgium, with the base at Brussels National Airport, operated its first commercial flight on 1 July 1923, from Brussels to London. Its final day of operations was 7 November 2001, with the Flight 690 from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to Brussels via Cotonou, Benin.

Throughout its history of 78 years, Sabena had a strong tradition of service to African destinations and for a long time these were the only profitable routes served by the airline. It was one of the smaller firms in Europe and, despite all its efforts, never managed to become seriously competitive. It entered in bankruptcy mainly due to the recession that followed the September 11 attacks. The collapse of Sabena, which employed 12,000 workers, was the biggest commercial failure in Belgian history.

After its bankruptcy, the newly formed SN Brussels Airlines took over part of Sabena's assets in February 2002, which became Brussels Airlines after a merger with Virgin Express in March 2007. The airline's corporate headquarters were located in the Sabena House on the grounds of Brussels Airport in Zaventem. Brussels Airlines started operations on 25 March 2007. It connects Brussels with the rest of Europe, but also flies to Africa, continuing Sabena's extensive network there.

Sabena - Wikipedia
Collapse of Sabena heralds drastic cuts in European airline industry - World Socialiste website

Sender: Marius Vasilescu
Sent from Brussels (Brussels / Belgium), on 29.07.2014


  1. SABENA collapsed because of poor service.
    A lot of their passengers described their flights as SABENA = Such A Bad Experience Never Again.

  2. Swissair took over Sabena;took all the money out of the company and let Sabena go into bankruptcy.
    That's the true story!