Further price drops looming at Ryanair despite lower profits

July 23, 2024

Irish low-cost airline Ryanair saw profits nearly halve in the first quarter. Still, the airline expects ticket prices in the second quarter to remain lower than last summer, whereas previously, the company was still assuming stable or slightly higher prices. Summer is a crucial time for airlines. It is the period when they make the […]

Boeing 777X and Airbus A321 XLR coming soon

July 23, 2024

Boeing’s 777X, the biggest dual-engine commercial airplane in the world, is expected to fly through the skies starting in 2025. The American aircraft manufacturer also expects that the global fleet of commercial aircraft will grow to more than 50,000 aircraft in 20 years, about double its current fleet. Major competitor Airbus is not sitting idle […]

ANPR cameras lead to record number of traffic violations in Belgium

July 23, 2024

Belgian police issued 8,420,303 traffic violations last year, or 10,6% more than in 2022. That accounts for a new record. Four out of five cases involved speeding; compared to 2022, 11,8% more speeding drivers were caught. Police attribute the rising figures to the higher number of intelligent ANPR cameras, especially the higher number of average […]

Friday’s global computer outage kept planes grounded

July 22, 2024

On Friday, a computer glitch caused many problems at airports worldwide. From Sydney over Dubai to Berlin, nearly 4,300 aircraft had to be grounded, with the US, Britain, India, and Australia particularly affected. In Belgium, the damage from the computer malfunction remained relatively limited, with delayed flights at Brussels Airport—courtesy of the old computer system. […]

Ghent to collect more traffic fines from foreign LEZ offenders

July 19, 2024

As of October, the Ghent City Council will be able to collect traffic fines in 22 additional European countries, from Spain to Italy to Poland. Previously, this was limited to a few neighboring countries. A European cooperation and the involvement of two Dutch companies makes the fine policy possible. It involves violations of parking policies, […]

Von der Leyen pushes for single European train ticketing platform

July 19, 2024

Ursula von der Leyen, reappointed on Thursday by the European Parliament as president of the European Commission, wants to make train travel more accessible by creating a standard reservation system at the EU level. She said this in the political guidelines for the next legislature for 2024-2029, just before the vote for her reappointment. “We […]

Nearly €50 million in European funds for Belgian railroads

July 18, 2024

Belgium will receive 47.9 million euros in European funding to modernize its railroad infrastructure between Brussels and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and to equip rolling stock with the ETCS safety system. This was announced by Federal Minister of Mobility Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo). The funds will come from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) fund, a […]

Lawsuit threatens NMBS/SNCB over cheaper tickets via app

July 17, 2024

Consumer organization Testaankoop/Test Achat (TA) and equal opportunities center Unia threaten a lawsuit against Belgian public railroad company NMBS/SNCB for “digital discrimination.” This is because some tickets can be purchased cheaper via the app than at the ticket counter and vending machines. Other tickets, in turn, are only available via the app. The two organizations […]

Gatz: ‘Brussels charging station tax would violate regional legislation’

July 16, 2024

The municipal tax on charging stations that several Brussels municipalities want to introduce is contrary to Brussels legislation, says outgoing Minister of Finance and Budget Sven Gatz (Open VLD), who also warns that the tax will hinder Brussels’ economic development. Brussels municipalities want to introduce a charging station tax in 2025. The tax could be […]

Bicycle repair kiosks at some 30 NMBS/SNCB stations

July 16, 2024

In the coming weeks, bicycle repair kiosks will be installed at some 30 NMBS/SNCB train stations in Belgium. These stands will allow cyclists to carry out minor repairs to their bikes themselves. The first stands have been installed at Duffel (Antwerp) and Enghien (Hainaut) stations. The stands are part of the NMBS/SNCB plan to make […]

Lufthansa downgrades outlook and announces savings plan

July 15, 2024

Lufthansa, still Europe’s largest airline group, has downgraded its financial outlook 2024 and announced a “recovery plan”. After a disappointing first half year, the group, which in addition to Lufthansa includes Austrian, Swiss, Eurowing, and Brussels Airlines, among others, now expects an operating profit of between 1.4 billion and 1.8 billion euros in 2024, down […]

NMBS/SNCB concentrates international train ticket sales in 12 travel stores

July 15, 2024

The Belgian public railroad company NMBS/SNCB will stop the physical sale of tickets for international train travel in nine stations starting in October. These are Arlon, Eurpen, Ottignies, Brussels-Luxembourg, Antwerp-Berchem, Courtrai, Hasselt, Mechelen, and Ostend. NMBS/SNCB will concentrate on selling such international train tickets in 12 so-called ‘travel stores’. Specialized travel stores According to NMBS/SNCB […]

De Wever asks Engie to keep nuclear plants open even longer

July 12, 2024

Fresh Belgian ‘formateur’ Bart De Wever (N-VA) has informed Engie that he wants to put “maximum” effort into nuclear energy, writes the business newspaper De Tijd. The intention is to keep Doel 4 and Tihange 3 open longer than the 10-year extension negotiated by the previous Vivaldi government. Whether Engie will comply with the request […]

New Wallonian government wants to introduce highway vignette

July 12, 2024

Wallonia plans to introduce a freeway vignette to finance infrastructure in Wallonia. This is according to the new coalition agreement proposed yesterday by the political parties MR and Les Engagés. Usually, the additional tax would apply only to foreigners. However, a cooperation agreement must first be reached with Flanders and the Brussels Capital Region so […]

NMBS/SNCB train passenger slightly less satisfied with service

July 11, 2024

Belgian national railway company NMBS/SCNB’s train passengers were slightly less satisfied with the service in 2023 than the previous year, as shown in the company’s activity report. On average, passengers gave NMBS a score of 7,17 out of 10. In 2022, this was still 7,26 out of 10. This is a new way of calculating […]

City of Hamburg signs €2,8 billion metro contract with Alstom

July 11, 2024

French rail group Alstom has signed a €2,8 billion framework contract with German public transport company Hamburger Hochbahn. The contract includes the supply of 374 new metro trains for fully automated or semi-automated operation for Hamburg’s city metro. The DT6 metros will be produced at Alstom’s Salzgitter site in Germany starting in 2026. The first […]

Brussels municipalities want to introduce tax on public charging stations

July 11, 2024

Brussels municipalities want to introduce a uniform tax of 125 euros per plug for public electric charging stations by early 2025, writes the business newspaper De Tijd. The news is confirmed by Vincent De Wolf (MR), president of the Conference of Mayors of the Brussels Region and mayor of Etterbeek. The proposal, already debated in […]

Kilometer charge for trucks offsets greening traffic tax

July 10, 2024

The kilometer charge for trucks offsets the Flemish Region’s loss of revenue due to the greening of traffic taxes. This is according to an analysis of 15 years of Flemish fiscal policy by SERV, the consultation and advisory body of Flemish employers’ and employees’ organizations. Over the past three legislatures, traffic taxes in Flanders have […]

European Ariane 6 rocket successfully launched after all

July 10, 2024

“Lift-off,” reported the European Space Agency (ESA) on social networking site X, Tuesday at 9 pm Belgian time,  from the European Space Base in Kourou, French Guiana. A second hurrah followed an hour and six minutes after the launch of the new Ariane 6 as the microsatellites it carried were also put into an orbit […]

ArcelorMittal Ghent captures and converts CO2 for steel production

July 09, 2024

ArcelorMittal has started a pilot project at its Ghent plant to convert captured carbon dioxide (CO2) into carbon monoxide (CO) for reuse in the production process. For this, the steel giant is teaming up with D-CRBN, an Antwerp-based climate technology company that developed a plasma reactor that breaks down CO2 into CO and oxygen (02). […]

Europe’s Ariane 6 rocket to launch after four-year delay

July 09, 2024

If all goes well, Europe’s newest rocket, Ariane 6, will finally be launched this Tuesday from its space base in Kourou, French Guiana. In this way, the European Space Agency (ESA) is making it clear that it is ready to enter the space race with US billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX. But when Ariane 6 soon […]

Brussels Sibelga calls to register private charging stations

July 08, 2024

Under the slogan ‘Proud of your terminal’, Sibelga has launched an information campaign to alert Brussels citizens to the mandatory declaration of charging stations for electric vehicles in Brussels. This gesture allows the Brussels grid operator to list and monitor all electricity purchases in Brussels to ensure the proper functioning of the grid and the […]

Engie breaks ground in Vilvoorde for one of EU’s largest battery parks

July 08, 2024

French energy giant Engie has started constructing one of Europe’s largest battery parks in Vilvoorde, near Brussels, accounting for 200 megawatts and an investment of 250 million euros. By 2025, the park will be able to store 800 megawatt hours of electricity and inject it into the grid for up to four hours if there […]

Pewag comes up with pioneering smart bike lock Serea

July 05, 2024

It is very annoying to find that your expensive e-bike has suddenly disappeared. Therefore, a good bike lock that is difficult to break open is essential to protect your bike from theft. Austrian chain manufacturer Pewag is now competing with market leaders like Abus and Kryptonite, launching Serea, a pioneering battery-free smart lock with intelligent […]

French Eramet opens lithium mine with Chinese partner in Argentina

July 05, 2024

French mining group Eramet and its Chinese partner Tsingshan have inaugurated a major lithium mine site in Argentina. Lithium is the white metal essential for the energy transition, particularly in most automotive electric batteries. The plant in Centenario in Salta’s northwestern province represents an 870 million-dollar investment. Eramet, of which the French state is one […]

European Commission gives final approval to Lufthansa-ITA takeover

July 04, 2024

The European Commission has ruled that the Lufthansa Group can enter the capital of its Italian sector partner, ITA Airways, the successor to Alitalia. However, to safeguard competition, the two companies must offer other airlines access to several routes. “Today we are concluding a historic, long-standing case,” the Italian Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti commented on […]

Armored vehicle maker Arquus in hands of Belgian John Cockerill

July 03, 2024

Belgian industrial group John Cockerill has completed the acquisition of Arquus, a French manufacturer of armored vehicles. Arquus, formerly Renault Trucks Defense, previously belonged to Swedish bus and truck maker Volvo Group. The deal reportedly involves about 300 million euros. Arquus has 1,200 employees who make armored vehicles for the armies of some 60 countries […]

Greenpeace: ‘Most European cities better served by air than by rail’

July 03, 2024

European cities are still much better connected by air than by rail, according to research by Greenpeace. From Brussels, for example, 41 of the 44 cities studied can be reached by direct flight and only 11 by rail. Greenpeace analyzed 990 routes between 45 major European cities. Only 12% of those routes are served by […]

Belgian-Swiss Dieter Vranckx again chairman Brussels Airlines

July 02, 2024

Belgian Dieter Vranckx, who was previously CEO of Brussels Airlines, has again been appointed chairman of the board of SN Airholding, the holding company wholly owned by German airline group Lufthansa. He succeeds Christina Foerster in the position. The German, also a former airline CEO, is leaving Lufthansa. Dieter Vranckx (51) already has a long […]

First five electric VDL buses for De Lijn commissioned

July 02, 2024

The Flemish public transport company De Lijn has served the first of the new e-buses from supplier VDL from its depot in Destelbergen, East Flanders. These are the first five of 24 e-buses from VDL to reinforce the electric fleet in the Ghent region. In the coming weeks and months, the Destelbergen depot will receive […]

Lufthansa suffers delivery delays from Boeing and Airbus

July 01, 2024

German airline Lufthansa suffers from delays in aircraft deliveries from Boeing and Airbus. According to CEO Carsten Spohr, the problems will not be solved before 2030, and the shortfall could cost Lufthansa around half a billion euros a year. The airline, which wants to modernize its fleet, has ordered 250 new aircraft from Airbus and […]

TGV slowing down on Brussels-France route in August

July 01, 2024

The high-speed train, or TGV, between Brussels and France, will not run at its normal speed between 12 and 29 August. During that period, the HST will run on the conventional track up to the French border, which means the train will travel longer. Railway network operator Infrabel announced the renovation works on Belgium’s oldest […]

Belgian rail invests up to €40 million to facelift smaller stations

June 28, 2024

Belgian public transport operator NMBS/SNCB invests between 30 and 40 million euros a year in a facelift for its smaller stations until 2032. This will include investments in accessibility and signaling and an expansion of bicycle and car parking facilities. NMBS/SNCB has 555 stations, including 20 large ones, 80 medium ones, and 455 smaller ones. […]

Chinese e-truck builder Windrose settles HQ in Belgium

June 27, 2024

According to the business newspaper De Tijd, Chinese electric truck builder Windrose is to establish its European headquarters and first workshop in Zele. Zele is considered the gateway for constructing an assembly plant for e-trucks in Antwerp port, potentially creating 3,000 jobs. An “operational base” consisting of an office and a workshop will be set […]

‘Three-country train’ Liège-Maastricht-Aachen runs from June 30

June 27, 2024

The Liège-Maastricht-Aachen ‘three-country train’ was inaugurated in Liège on Wednesday. The train connects Liège-Guillemins with Dutch Maastricht and German Aachen. The connection will be open to the public from June 30. The new direct train is the result of a collaboration between Belgian public railway company NMBS/SNCB, Dutch transport company Arriva, and Dutch public railway […]

Belgian federal officials to drive electric from July 1st (update)

June 27, 2024

The Belgian federal authorities will only buy or lease electric service vehicles from July 2024. The Council of Ministers approved a plan by Minister of Civil Service Petra De Sutter (Groen) in March last year, which is now in effect. One consequence of the measure is that by 2030, most service vehicles within the federal […]

Number of Belgian road deaths down for first time in three years

June 26, 2024

According to Statbel, the Belgian statistics office, 501 people lost their lives in accidents on Belgian roads in 2023. Accident figures also decreased again last year after increasing in 2021 and 2022. Also striking: the number of accidents fell more sharply in Brussels than in the rest of the country. Last year, there were 36,855 […]

‘Green surtax’ makes Lufthansa Group tickets up to €72 more expensive

June 26, 2024

German airline group Lufthansa, to which Brussels Airlines also belongs, is launching an environmental surcharge of 1 to 72 euros for all flights departing from Europe and the UK, Norway, and Switzerland. For Brussels Airlines, the surcharge will be a maximum of 36 euros per flight. The surcharge will be charged on bookings starting today […]

Brussels Airport tests hydrogen tractor and refueling station

June 25, 2024

VIL, the point of contact for the Flemish logistics sector, and WaterStofNet have installed the first mobile hydrogen refueling station at Brussels Airport. At the same time, DHL is testing the first hydrogen prototype for ground handling operations, a Mulag tractor with an integrated hydrogen fuel cell system. This is a first for the airport. […]

Touring calls on Brussels to liberalize LEZ: 600,000 cars involved

June 25, 2024

Mobility organization Touring is calling on the new Brussels government, which has yet to be formed, to include in its policy plan the tightening of the low-emission zone (LEZ) on its territory, which usually takes effect in January 2025. Touring is thus calling for a relaxation of the LEZ. According to the organization, if the […]

Belgium’s Elia warns for too much electricity this summer

June 24, 2024

Belgian high-voltage operator Elia is calling on the market to be vigilant this summer. There is a chance that Belgium will produce too much power because all available nuclear power plants are running, and especially because a lot of solar panels have been added this year. This threatens to put pressure on the electricity system. […]

De Lijn’s on-demand buses mostly only drive around with driver

June 21, 2024

Flemish public transport operator De Lijn’s flex transport, vans on demand, is not operating efficiently. That’s according to the business newspaper De Tijd, based on figures the newspaper requested from De Lijn. According to the newspaper, 56% of all kilometers traveled have only the driver on board. In other words, minibusses drive around without passengers […]

UN study: ‘80% of people worldwide fear devastating effect climate change’

June 20, 2024

80% of the world’s population is increasingly concerned about the devastating effects of climate change and wants more action on climate. This is according to a major survey, the biggest ever standalone public opinion survey on climate change, by the UN development agency UNDP and Oxford University. The call is especially strongest in the poorest […]

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun apologizes for ‘quality and safety issues’

June 19, 2024

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun has acknowledged the seriousness of the situation in a US Senate hearing on the quality of Boeing production and apologized for the grief that Boeing has caused. At the same time, he added that progress has since been made. Behind the top man were relatives of people killed in Boeing aircraft […]

420 ton bicycle-pedestrian tunnel pushed under railway in Langdorp

June 18, 2024

Infrabel has pushed a new bicycle and pedestrian tunnel under the Leuven-Aarschot-Hasselt railway line in Langdorp. Final work on the tunnel still needs to be finished, but cyclists and pedestrians will be able to use it by the end of this year. This weekend, the tunnel was moved into place using a unique sliding system, […]

SNCF promises 15% extra cheaper seats on TGV in France

June 17, 2024

The SNCF will increase the supply of seats on the TGV or HST by 15% in France and 10% internationally over the next ten years. Thanks to an increase in Ouigo’s low-cost trains, the expansion of that offer is possible. The SNCF in France is under strong pressure because different companies will launch regional high-speed […]

106 new electric buses for Brussels from summer

June 17, 2024

The first new electric buses ordered by Brussels public transport operator MIVB/STIB from German manufacturer Daimler Buses will be in service from July. This is reported by the newspapers La Capital and Le Soir. A total of 106 e-buses are involved. With this order, MIVB/STIB intends to replace its diesel models under the Euro-5 and […]

Drones transport chemical samples in Antwerp Port

June 14, 2024

Petrochemical analysis samples can now be transported by drone from the Antwerp port area to a laboratory. The innovative project by SGS, German chemical giant BASF, and ADLC was launched to make port operations more efficient and reduce the environmental impact of transporting analysis samples. According to SGS, a Swiss multinational specializing in inspections and […]

TEC back at pre-COVID passenger level: 151,6 million

June 14, 2024

The Walloon public transport company TEC transported more than 150 million passengers last year. As far as passenger numbers are concerned, they are back to the level before the COVID-19 health crisis. At the same time, TEC’s turnover increased by 22% compared to 2022, to 122 million euros. In doing so, it surpassed 2019 for […]

MR and Groen diagonally opposed about reversing Brussels Good Move plan

June 13, 2024

With the stalemate between the liberal MR party and Groen, the two big winners in the French and Dutch language groups in Brussels of the national elections, it looks like the Good Move mobility plan will become the topic of the municipal elections in October. MR president Georges-Louis Bouchez is determined that Good Move must […]

Flibco bus connects Maastricht with Charleroi Airport via Liège

June 12, 2024

Flibco.com, a provider of transport services to airports in Belgium, is launching an international shuttle line between Maastricht and Charleroi Airport via Liège from 4 July. The bus company reckons the journey time will be around two hours for the 127 km separating the Dutch city from the Walloon one. Flibco.com promises ten daily departures […]

Safran opens new aircraft engine maintenance facility in Brussels

June 12, 2024

At Brussels Airport, the new building of Safran Aircraft Engine Services, a French aircraft engine maintenance company, has been officially inaugurated. The building, which cost 24 million euros to build, measures 8,500 m² and is carbon-neutral thanks to its use of 100% renewable energy. By 2027, the site will employ 220 new workers. The new […]

NTU-study: ‘Air pollution accounts for 135 million deaths in 40 years’

June 11, 2024

According to Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU), air pollution can be linked to about 135 million premature deaths between 1980 and 2020. This is according to a study published in the journal Environment International. These deaths would be caused by airborne PM2.5, particulate matter from vehicles, industrial emissions, and natural sources such as fires or […]

One-third bicycle accidents due to failure to apply right of way rules correctly

June 10, 2024

According to a new study by Vias Institute, failure to correctly give the right of way is involved in one in three serious cycling accidents in Flanders. Responsibility for the accident lies as often with the cyclist as with the other road user. And two-thirds of accidents are largely due to human error. Still, according […]

Proxima will compete with SNCF high-speed trains in France

June 06, 2024

France’s national rail operator, SNCF, is going to get an extra competitor. Backed by an investment fund, the new company Proxima plans to acquire 12 high-speed trains by the decade’s end to link Paris with Angers, Rennes, Nantes, and Bordeaux. Rachel Picard, co-founder and chief executive of Proxima, is well-known in the railway world. Until […]

Bicycle theft in Brussels Region tripled

June 06, 2024

Between 2015 and 2022, the number of reported bicycle thefts in the Brussels Region increased by more than 70%. This is according to a study by safe.brussels, the security management organization for the capital region. The rapidly increasing use of bicycles in the capital and region is undoubtedly making bicycles hip to thieves. 5,000 theft […]

IATA sceptical about flying on 5% SAF by 2030

June 05, 2024

The target of 5% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2030 is extremely ambitious, according to IATA, the International Airline Association. Nevertheless, IATA remains committed to its target of net zero emissions by 2050, although its chairman, Willie Walsh, clearly states that it “is not going to promise to achieve something that does not seem possible […]

New Belgian road code is now official

June 05, 2024

The current Belgian road code, which is some half a century old, will be modernized from 1 September 2026. This news was already known, but with the king signing the text yesterday, the new traffic rules are now officially in place. The new modern code gives everyone a fairer place on public roads – read: […]

Euro 2024: teams can cut emissions by 60% if they avoid flying

June 04, 2024

The European Football Championship is coming up, but whether the football tournament will also be ‘Wunderbar’ from an ecological point of view remains to be seen. Although Euro 2024 bills itself as ‘the greenest ever’, football teams could also set a good example by, for example, traveling more sustainably and avoiding flying whenever possible. Greenest […]

Brussels Airlines again flies to Nairobi

June 04, 2024

A direct flight to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, took off from Brussels Airport yesterday morning. Brussels Airlines is offering the route again for the first time in just under a decade. “Brussels Airlines is Lufthansa Group’s Africa expert,” said Dorothea von Boxberg, CEO of Brussels Airlines, at the launch. “Except for Washington and New York, […]