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At time of bankruptcy: Christophe Müller (CEO), Jean Louis Herremans (CFO)

Website www.sabena.com

Sabena
Sabena
Boeing 737-300
Boeing 737-300
OO-SYB illustrated by Nop Briex

The Societé Anonyme Belge d'Exploitation de la Navigation Aérienne, (French; "Belgian Corporation for Air Navigation Services"), better known internationally by the acronym Sabena
Sabena
or SABENA, was the national airline of Belgium
Belgium
from 1923 to 2001, with its base at Brussels
Brussels
National Airport. After its bankruptcy in 2001, the newly formed SN  Brussels Airlines
Brussels Airlines
took over part of Sabena's assets in February 2002, which became Brussels Airlines
Brussels Airlines
after a merger with Virgin Express
Virgin Express
in March 2007. The airline's corporate headquarters were located in the Sabena
Sabena
House on the grounds of Brussels Airport
Brussels Airport
in Zaventem.[1]

Contents

1 History

1.1 1923–1939

1.1.1 Belgian Congo 1.1.2 Expansion in Europe

1.2 1939–1946 1.3 1946–1960 1.4 1960–1990 1.5 1990–1995 1.6 1995–2001 1.7 2001–present

2 Reasons for bankruptcy 3 Accidents

3.1 Flights to or from Europe 3.2 Flights in the Belgian colonies

4 Fleet

4.1 Historical aircraft

5 Destinations 6 See also 7 References

7.1 Notes

8 Further reading 9 External links

History[edit] 1923–1939[edit] Sabena
Sabena
began operations on 23 May 1923 as the national carrier of Belgium. The airline was created by the Belgian government after their predecessor SNETA (Syndicat national pour l'étude des transports aériens) - formed in 1919 to pioneer commercial aviation in Belgium
Belgium
- ceased operations. Sabena
Sabena
operated its first commercial flight from Brussels
Brussels
to London (UK) on 1 July 1923, via Ostend. Services to Rotterdam
Rotterdam
(Netherlands) and Strasbourg
Strasbourg
(France) were launched on 1 April 1924. The Strasbourg
Strasbourg
service was extended to Basle
Basle
(Switzerland) on 10 June 1924. Amsterdam (Netherlands) was added on 1 September 1924, and Hamburg (Germany) followed on 1 May 1929 via Antwerp, Düsseldorf, and Essen. Belgian Congo[edit]

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A Fokker F.VII
Fokker F.VII
in Sabena
Sabena
colours

When Sabena
Sabena
was created, the airline was partly funded by Belgians in the Belgian Congo
Belgian Congo
colony who lost their air service, an experimental passenger and cargo company (LARA) between Léopoldville, Lisala, and Stanleyville a year earlier and who expected the new Belgian national airline to fill this gap. On 12 February 1925, Sabena
Sabena
pioneered a long haul across Africa to Leopoldville, capital of the Belgian Congo. Throughout their history, Sabena
Sabena
had a long tradition of service to African destinations and for a long time these were the only profitable routes served by the airline. Sabena
Sabena
used landplanes for their Congo operations and a program of aerodrome construction was initiated in the Congo. This was finished in 1926 and Sabena
Sabena
immediately began flights within the Belgian colony, the main route being Boma-Léopoldville-Élisabethville, a 2,288 km (1,422 mi) route over dense jungle. First, flights were operated with De Havilland DH.50s, although these were quickly replaced by the larger Handley Page W.8f which had three engines and offered ten seats. By 1931 Sabena's fleet, including the aircraft used on the Congo network, totalled 43 aircraft. Their mainstay type was the Fokker F.VIIB with a lesser number of smaller Fokker VIIA and 14 Handley-Page types. They also flew British Westland Wessex aircraft. Sabena
Sabena
occasionally flew to tropical Africa, Belgium's Congo colony, but mostly these aircraft were shipped out. There was no direct flight yet between Belgium
Belgium
and the colony. As the 1930s progressed, Sabena cooperated with Air France
Air France
and Deutsche Luft Hansa, who also had interests in routes to destinations across Africa. Sabena's first long-haul flight to the Congo occurred on 12 February 1935 and took five and a half days, for which Sabena
Sabena
used a Fokker F-VII/3m aircraft. The following year, Sabena
Sabena
purchased the Savoia-Marchetti SM.73
Savoia-Marchetti SM.73
airliner. With a speed of 300 km/h (200 mph), it reduced the journey time taken to only four days, and the Sabena
Sabena
service ran on alternate weeks to an Air Afrique service.[citation needed] Expansion in Europe[edit] In Europe, Sabena
Sabena
opened services to Copenhagen
Copenhagen
and Malmö
Malmö
in 1931 and a route to Berlin was initiated in 1932. The mainstay pre-war airliner that Sabena
Sabena
used in Europe was the successful Junkers Ju-52/3m airliner. The airline's pre-war routes covered almost 6,000 km within Europe. While the Brussels
Brussels
Haren airport was Sabena's main base, the company also operated services from other Belgian airports, and had a domestic network that was mainly used by businessmen who wanted to be in their coastal villas for the weekend. In 1938, the airline purchased the new Savoia-Marchetti SM.83, a development of the S.M. 73 with a speed of 435 km/h (270 mph), although it flew services at a cruising speed of about 400 km/h (250 mph). 1939–1946[edit] At the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Sabena's fleet totalled 18 aircraft. Their mainstay fleet type was the Savoia-Marchetti SM.73 airliner (they had 11 of the type) and the Junkers Ju-52/3m airliner (they had five). Sabena
Sabena
also had just taken delivery of two Douglas DC-3s. During the war the airline managed to maintain their Belgian Congo routes, but all European services ceased. 1946–1960[edit]

Douglas DC-3
Douglas DC-3
of Sabena
Sabena
in 1949

Sabena
Sabena
Douglas DC-6B arriving at Manchester Airport from New York in 1955

After the war, in 1946 Sabena
Sabena
resumed operating a network of intra-European scheduled services. The fleet initially consisted mainly of Douglas DC-3s. There were thousands of surplus C-47 Dakotas (the military variant of the DC-3) available to help airlines restart operations after the war. The airline now flew under the name of SABENA - Belgian World Airlines. Sabena
Sabena
started their first transatlantic route to New York City on 4 June 1946, initially using unpressurised Douglas DC-4
Douglas DC-4
airliners which were augmented and later replaced by Douglas DC-6Bs. The DC-4s, followed by the DC-6s, also restarted the airline's traditional route to the Belgian Congo. Sabena
Sabena
was the first airline to introduce transatlantic schedules from the north of England, when its DC-6B OO-CTH inaugurated their Brussels-Manchester-New York route on 28 October 1953. The Convair 240
Convair 240
was introduced in 1949 to partially replace the DC-3s that until then had flown most European services. As of 1956, improved Convair 440 "Metropolitan" twins began replacing the Convair 240 twins and were used successfully well into the 1960s between European regional destinations. In 1957, the long-range Douglas DC-7C was introduced for long-haul routes but this plane would begin to be supplanted after only three years by the jet age. It remained in service on the transatlantic route until 1962. On 3 June 1954, a Yugoslav Air Force
Yugoslav Air Force
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15
(NATO reporting name "Fagot") attacked a Sabena-operated Douglas DC-3
Douglas DC-3
on a cargo flight from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
to Yugoslavia, killing the radio operator and wounding both the captain and engineer. Co-pilot Douglas Wilson managed to land in Austria
Austria
but the plane suffered significant damage.[2] For the 1958 world exposition in Brussels, Sabena
Sabena
leased two Lockheed Super Constellations from Seaboard World Airlines, using them mainly on transatlantic routes. In the same period, there were experiments with helicopter passenger service using Sikorsky S-58
Sikorsky S-58
aircraft from Brussels
Brussels
to Antwerp, Rotterdam, Eindhoven and the Paris heliport at Issy-les-Moulineaux. 1960–1990[edit]

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Revenue Passenger-Kilometers, scheduled flights only, in millions

Year Traffic

1950 235

1955 579

1960 1264

1965 1635

1971 2720

1975 3796

1980 4853

1989 6760

1995 8620

2000 19379

Source: ICAO Digest of Statistics for 1950-55, IATA World Air Transport Statistics 1960-2000

Sabena
Sabena
Douglas DC-6
Douglas DC-6
at London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport
in 1960.

Sabena
Sabena
Boeing 707-329
Boeing 707-329
in April 1960, shortly after delivery.

Sabena
Sabena
Sud Aviation Caravelle.

A Sabena
Sabena
Boeing 747-100
Boeing 747-100
seen in 1976.

Sabena
Sabena
Douglas DC-10-30CF convertible pax/freighter at Brussels Airport in 1977.

A Sabena
Sabena
Airbus A310
Airbus A310
seen in 1985.

1960 saw the introduction of the Boeing 707-320 intercontinental jet for trans-Atlantic flights to New York. SABENA was mainland Europe's first airline to operate a jet across the Atlantic ( BOAC had been flying jet transatlantic services using the de Havilland Comet 4 since 4 October 1958). Tragically, one of SABENA's aircraft became the first Boeing 707
Boeing 707
to crash while in commercial service when Flight 548 crashed while preparing to land at Brussels
Brussels
on 15 February 1961. The United States Figure Skating Team was aboard the aircraft, en route from New York to Prague
Prague
via Brussels
Brussels
to compete in a figure skating championship. Six Caravelle jetliners were introduced on all medium-haul routes in Europe from February 1961, being flown on most routes alongside the Convair 440s, until the early 1970s. 1960 and 1961 saw a major upheaval for Sabena
Sabena
in the Congo. Widespread rioting against Belgian colonials in the months leading up to, and after the independence of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, caused thousands of Belgians to flee the country. The Belgian government commandeered Sabena's entire long haul fleet to get the refugees back to Europe. Independence also meant the end of the impressive regional network of routes that the airline had built up in the Congo since 1924. When the new republic began its own airline, Air Congo, in June 1961, Sabena
Sabena
held 30 percent of that airline's shares. The Douglas DC-6B remained in service with Sabena
Sabena
in the mid-1960s although they were no longer used on the airline's main routes. The Boeing 707s and Caravelles became the mainstay types during this decade. Boeing 727-100s were introduced on important European routes and also some African services from 1967 in a unique colour scheme; the fin markings incorporated bare-metal rudder and white engine colours. The only other aircraft to have its own special markings was the Douglas DC-10. At this time Fokker F27
Fokker F27
Friendships entered service between regional Belgian airports and European destinations such as London Heathrow. 1971 saw the introduction of the Boeing  747-100
747-100
on transatlantic routes flying alongside the Boeing 707-320Cs. Sabena, like many other trans-Atlantic airlines, was satisfied with the Boeing 707s. For commercial reasons they recognised that they had to buy jumbo jets for their prestige services, notably New York JFK and as of the mid-seventies, Chicago O'Hare. Sabena
Sabena
purchased only two first generation jumbo jets and they continued to fly the 707 into the late 1970s. As of 1973, the Boeing 727s on the European network were replaced by the Boeing 737-200. The Douglas DC-10-30 entered service in 1974. In total, Sabena purchased five of these convertible (Passengers and/or freight) combi aircraft wide-body jets. On February 15, 1978 a Boeing 707-329
Boeing 707-329
with registration OO-SJE is destroyed by fire at Tenerife, Canary Islands when the nosewheel collapsed after landing short of the runway, no casualties. In 1984 Airbus
Airbus
A310s were introduced on routes that had high passenger density. This aircraft type also introduced a modernisation of the 1973 Sabena
Sabena
livery, in which a lighter blue was used and the titles on the fuselage were in a more modern style. In June 1986 the first of two Boeing 747-300
Boeing 747-300
aircraft joined the fleet, eventually replacing the older 747-100. In an advertisement in National Geographic June 1982 (volume 161, no. 6) Sabena
Sabena
prided itself with a superior inflight service. "And unlike most European airlines Sabena
Sabena
still offers First Class service within Europe and all the way through." This advertisement also states that " Sabena
Sabena
flies to 76 destinations on 4 continents" and uses the slogan "belgian world airlines" (written with no capital letters). In 1989 Sabena
Sabena
invited Belgian fashion designer Olivier Strelli to create a new range of uniforms for their cabin crews. 1990–1995[edit]

A Sabena
Sabena
Boeing 737 at Dublin Airport
Dublin Airport
in 1995.

A new name, Sabena
Sabena
World Airlines, and colours were introduced for the 1990s. The new livery had an overall white colour and the white circle tail logo in blue on the fin. A large "Sabena" title covered the fuselage in light blue and the name "Belgian World Airlines" was at times just visible, though the title was also painted on the fuselage in small, clear letters. The 1990s saw further fleet type renewal: the DC-10-30s were replaced with twin-engined Airbus A330 and the Boeing 747s with four-engined Airbus
Airbus
A340. After the liberalisation of the airline industry throughout Europe and the economic consequences of the Gulf War, the Belgian government, the main shareholder of the company, realized that Sabena
Sabena
had little chance of surviving on its own in this very competitive market, and began searching for a suitable partner. Sabena
Sabena
remained in a poor financial state, and year after year the Belgian government had to cover losses, however, it was however prevented from providing new funds due to EU State Aid rules. Around 1987, SAS tried to merge with the carrier, but the merger was blocked by the Belgian authorities. In 1989, British Airways
British Airways
and KLM purchased stakes in Sabena, which were later sold back to the Belgian government. In 1993, Air France
Air France
purchased a large minority stake in Sabena, which it sold soon after. Finally, in 1995, Swissair
Swissair
purchased a 49 percent stake in Sabena
Sabena
and took over management. In 1993 Sabena's head office was in the Air Terminus building on Rue Cardinal Mercier in Brussels.[3] In 1994, Paul Rusesabagina, a manager for Sabena-owned hotels in the former Belgian territory of Rwanda, sheltered over 1,200 Tutsis and moderate Hutus at the Hôtel des Mille Collines
Hôtel des Mille Collines
of Kigali, saving them from being slaughtered by the Interahamwe
Interahamwe
militia during the Rwandan genocide (this is depicted in the motion picture Hotel Rwanda).[4] 1995–2001[edit]

A Sabena
Sabena
Boeing 737-500
Boeing 737-500
in 2000.

Sabena
Sabena
BAe 146
BAe 146
at Birmingham, 2001

In March and April 1998 two McDonnell-Douglas MD-11
McDonnell-Douglas MD-11
aircraft, both leased from CityBird, joined the fleet and such long-haul destinations as Newark, Montreal
Montreal
and São Paulo
São Paulo
were (re)introduced. 1999 saw new colours introduced to the fleet, beginning with an Airbus A340. One of the latest fleet types that Sabena introduced, right after the A321 and A320 was the A319 which saw service in 2000. These new planes were part of a record-order of 34 Airbus A320 family
Airbus A320 family
aircraft, imposed on Sabena
Sabena
when under Swissair management. After an airline recession and the effects on the airline industry of the September 11 attacks in 2001, all airlines that flew across the Atlantic suffered. Swissair
Swissair
had pledged to invest millions in Sabena
Sabena
but failed to do so, partly because the airline had financial problems itself, having filed for bankruptcy protection one month prior. The company filed for legal protection against its creditors on 3 October, and went into liquidation on 6 November 2001. Fred Chaffart, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sabena, read a declaration on this day to explain the decision. November 7, 2001, was the final day of operations for Sabena. Flight 690 from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to Brussels
Brussels
via Cotonou, Benin, was the last Sabena
Sabena
flight to land in Brussels. An Airbus A340-300 registered as OO-SCZ operated the flight. A group of investors managed to take over Delta Air Transport, one of Sabena's subsidiaries, and transformed it into SN Brussels
Brussels
Airlines. That airline merged with Virgin Express
Virgin Express
in 2006 into a new company, Brussels
Brussels
Airlines. 2001–present[edit]

SN Brussels Airlines
SN Brussels Airlines
BAe 146
BAe 146
in the former Sabena
Sabena
livery at London Heathrow Airport in 2002.

The Belgian Parliament
Belgian Parliament
formed a committee to investigate the reasons behind the bankruptcy of Sabena
Sabena
and the involvement of Switzerland's flag carrier. At the same time, the company's administrator investigated possible legal steps against Swissair, and its successors in interest Swiss International Air Lines
Swiss International Air Lines
and Lufthansa. In 2006, the Belgian government, a former major shareholder, filed criminal charges against the former Swissair
Swissair
management. The former Swissair
Swissair
management was condemned by the judges.[5] On 16 January 2007 the Belgian - Flemish news program Terzake reported that during the nineties, several members of the board were paid large sums illegally through a Sabena
Sabena
affiliate in Bermuda. When Paul Reutlinger became the CEO of the company, he stopped the illegal payments. Terzake went on to state that this might explain why the Belgian board members remained quiet when it became apparent Swissair was exploiting Sabena
Sabena
and eventually drove the company into bankruptcy. On December 14, 2007, Georges Jaspis, a former World War II pilot in No. 609 Squadron RAF and the Sabena
Sabena
pilot with the most flying hours (27,000) died.[citation needed] Captain Jaspis was the pilot who inaugurated the Manchester to New York service in October 1953 and who collected the first Sabena
Sabena
Boeing 707 and 747. He had escaped Belgium
Belgium
during the war and made his way to England where he joined the Royal Air Force. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was buried in Opprebais, a village south-east of Brussels
Brussels
on December 19, 2007. The Belgian military attended and a flypast of four F-16 jets in missing man formation was made. Reasons for bankruptcy[edit]

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The reasons for SABENA's bankruptcy are numerous. One of the direct causes was Swissair
Swissair
not living up to their contractual obligations and failing to inject necessary funds into the company. This was because at the time Swissair
Swissair
was having its own financial problems. During the so-called "Hotel agreement", signed on July 17, 2001, Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt
Guy Verhofstadt
met with Swissair
Swissair
boss Mario Corti, who agreed to inject €258 million into SABENA. Mr Corti had made a terrible mistake as the sum was never paid, due to Swissair's own financial problems. The purchase of 34 new Airbus A320 family
Airbus A320 family
planes, imposed under Swissair's management, was a burden SABENA could not cope with. After the bankruptcy, a parliamentary commission in Belgium
Belgium
was established to investigate the demise of the airline. The Belgian politicians got a part of the blame; Rik Daems, who, at the time, was Minister of Public Enterprises and Participations, Telecommunication and Middle Classes, received most criticism due to his lack of effort. Swissair
Swissair
itself went bankrupt in October of that year. Accidents[edit]

On 7 December 1934 at least two SABENA aircraft were destroyed in a hangar fire at Haren Airport
Haren Airport
as a result of a crash of a military Fairey Fox
Fairey Fox
biplane.

Flights to or from Europe[edit]

On 10 December 1935, a Savoia-Marchetti S.73 (registered OO-AGN) crashed at Tatsfield, Surrey, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
with the loss of 11 lives. On 16 November 1937, a Junkers Ju 52 (registered OO-AUB) crashed near Ostend, Belgium
Belgium
while landing, killing all 12 people on board. On 17 September 1946 at 01:47 local time, a Douglas C-47 (registered OO-AUR) crashed upon takeoff from Haren Airport, killing one crew member. The other two crew and four passengers on board the flight bound for Croydon Airport
Croydon Airport
survived.[6]

The crash site of the DC-4 in Newfoundland.

The next day, 18 September 1946, 27 people lost their lives when a SABENA Douglas DC-4
Douglas DC-4
(OO-CBG) crashed 35 km short of Gander Airport, where the aircraft planned to land for a refueling stop on the flight from Brussels
Brussels
to New York. At the time of the accident (07:42 UTC), there was dense fog near the airport, and the pilot executed a flawed approach at too low an altitude. There were 17 survivors (16 passengers and one crew).[7] The 19 passengers and three crew members on a flight from Brussels
Brussels
to London lost their lives on 2 March 1948, when a Douglas DC-3 registered OO-AWH, crashed at 21:14 local time on approach to London Heathrow Airport in low visibility conditions.[8] On 18 December 1949 at approximately 20:30 local time, a C-47 (registered OO-AUQ) crashed near Aulnay-sous-Bois, France, killing the four passengers and four crew on board. The aircraft had just left Paris – Le Bourget Airport
Paris – Le Bourget Airport
for a flight to Brussels, when a wing separated.[9] On 14 October 1953 at ca. 15:20 local time, a Convair CV-240 (registered OO-AWQ) crashed near Kelsterbach, West Germany, killing the 40 passengers and four crew aboard the flight from Frankfurt to Brussels. Engine power was lost upon takeoff from Frankfurt Airport, making the aircraft impossible to control.[10] One passenger on board a flight from Brussels
Brussels
to Zurich
Zurich
was killed on 19 December of the same year, when the aircraft (a CV-240 registered OO-AWO) hit the ground 2.5 km short of the runway threshold of Kloten Airport at 18:55 local time. In low visibility conditions, the pilot descended below the glidepath. The other 39 passengers and three crew members survived the accident.[11] On 3 June 1954, a C-47 (registered OO-CBY) was attacked by a MiG-15 fighter aircraft near Maribor, Yugoslavia. The aircraft, on a cargo flight from Blackbushe Airport
Blackbushe Airport
to Belgrade, remained airborne, and a forced landing at Graz Airport
Graz Airport
was carried out, during which it ran off the runway. In the incident, one out of the four people on board was killed.[12] On 13 February 1955, the pilots of a SABENA flight from Brussels
Brussels
to Rome lost orientation when approaching Ciampino Airport, resulting in the Douglas DC-6
Douglas DC-6
registered OO-SDB crashing into the slope of Monte Terminillo at 18:53 local time, killing the 21 passengers and eight crew on board.[13] The disaster of Flight 548 with its 73 casualties marked the worst accident in the history of SABENA. It happened on 15 February 1961 at 09:05 UTC, when the aircraft (a Boeing 707
Boeing 707
registered OO-SJB) crashed at Brussels Airport
Brussels Airport
following a flight from New York City.[14] Among the dead were the entire American delegation to the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships, slated to be held in Prague; the competition was canceled in the aftermath. On 13 July 1968, a cargo-configured 707 (registered OO-SJK) crashed upon approach to Lagos
Lagos
Airport on a flight from Brussels, killing the seven occupants. It was determined that the aircraft descended too low and struck trees.[15] A DC-3 registered OO-AUX (which SABENA had leased from Delta Air Transport) was damaged beyond repair in a ground accident at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol on 9 May 1970. The pilots began to taxi the aircraft even though they had not been cleared to do so, which resulted in the right propeller hitting an obstacle on the ground, and debris destroying the airliner beyond economic repair.[16] On 8 May 1972, Flight 571 from Vienna
Vienna
to Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
with 101 people on board (a Boeing 707
Boeing 707
registered OO-SJG) was hijacked by four members of the terrorist organization Black September, in order to secure the release of 315 detainees from Israeli prisons. At Ben-Gurion International Airport, two hijackers were shot and killed by the Israeli Sayeret Matkal
Sayeret Matkal
special forces. One passenger died later of the wounds she had suffered in the shootout.[17] On 15 February 1978, a Boeing 707
Boeing 707
(registered OO-SJE) overshot the runway at Los Rodeos Airport following a chartered holiday flight from Brussels
Brussels
with 189 passengers and seven crew on board. After all passengers and crew were evacuated spilled fuel caught fire, destroying the aircraft.[18] On 4 April of the same year at 18:07 local time, a Boeing 737-200 (registered OO-SDH) on a crew training flight suffered a bird strike during landing practice at Charleroi Airport. The pilot instructor attempted to get the aircraft airborne again, but failed because of insufficient remaining runway. The plane was damaged beyond repair.[19] On 29 August 1998, Flight 542 from New York to Brussels
Brussels
with 248 passengers and 11 crew members on board, an Airbus
Airbus
A340-200 (registered OO-SCW), suffered a broken right landing gear upon landing at Brussels
Brussels
Airport. The plane veered off the runway. There were no notable injuries in the ensuing evacuation, and the aircraft was repaired.[20] On 13 October 2000, Flight 689 from Brussels
Brussels
to Abidjan
Abidjan
was hijacked by a Nigerian national who was due to be deported. The Airbus
Airbus
A330-200 with 146 other passengers and 11 crew members on board was forced to land at Málaga Airport, where the perpetrator was overpowered by Spanish police forces.[21] On 4 December 2000, flight from Brussels
Brussels
to Bujumbura, Burundi
Burundi
to Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya
was struck by machine gun fire as it approached Bujumbura, injuring a passenger and crew member. The Airbus A330, carrying 170 passengers and crew, was struck in an attack blamed by the government on Hutu rebels, who denied responsibility. The plane, which was due to fly on to Nairobi
Nairobi
and return to Brussels, landed safely but did not continue the flight.[22]

Flights in the Belgian colonies[edit]

On 1 January 1943, a Junkers Ju 52
Junkers Ju 52
(registered OO-AUG) crashed near Bangui
Bangui
in then French Equatorial Africa.[23] On 25 March 1944, the Ju 52 registered OO-AGU was destroyed when it crashed at Costermansville Belgian Congo, now Bukavu[24] Only some days later, on 3 April, another aircraft of the same type (OO-AUF) crashed nearby.[25] On 14 December 1945, a Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar
Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar
(registered OO-CAK) caught fire and was subsequently destroyed following a forced landing near Kouandé
Kouandé
during a flight that had originated at Lagos.[26] On 7 January 1947, a Douglas C-47 (registered OO-CBO) crashed near Costermansville.[27] On 24 December 1947, a Lockheed Lodestar
Lockheed Lodestar
(OO-CAR) experienced an engine failure shortly after take-off from an airfield near Mitwaba, then French Congo, and subsequently crashed, killing the five occupants on board.[28] On 12 May 1948, at 11:00 local time, a DC-4 (registered OO-CBE) crashed in a thunderstorm during a scheduled passenger flight from Leopoldville to Libenge, then Belgian Congo, killing the 24 passengers and seven crew members.[29] Another 13 people (ten passengers, three crew) were killed on 31 August of that year, when their aircraft, a C-47 registered OO-UBL, crashed near Elizabethville on a flight from Manono, Democratic Republic of the Congo.[30] On 27 August 1949, a Douglas C-47 (registered OO-CBK) experienced a loss of engine power shortly after take-off from Leopoldville Airport for a flight to Elizabethville, Democratic Republic of the Congo, with 17 passengers and three crew on board. The three crew members and two out of the seventeen passengers on board died in the ensuing crash.[31] On 24 July 1951, the right engine of a cargo-configured DC-3 (registered OO-CBA) caught fire upon takeoff from Gao Airfield and crashed, resulting in the loss of lives of the three persons on board.[32] On 4 February 1952, a C-47 (registered OO-CBA) with sixteen occupants (twelve passengers, four crew) crashed near Kikwit
Kikwit
following the mid-air break-up of a propeller, which resulted in vital parts of the airliner being destroyed by debris.[33] The aircraft was en route for a scheduled flight from Costermansville to Leopoldville. There were no survivors. On 18 May 1958, a Douglas DC-7
Douglas DC-7
(registered OO-SFA) suffered a problem with its leftmost engine, whilst on a flight from Lisbon
Lisbon
to Leopoldville with 56 passengers and nine crew members. The pilots prepared for an emergency landing at Casablanca-Anfa Airport, but shortly before touch-down, a go-around was attempted, which resulted in a stall because of the missing engine power. The aircraft crashed into buildings and caught fire at 4:25 a.m. local time, from which only four passengers could be saved alive.[34]

Fleet[edit] Sabena's fleet consisted of the following aircraft at the time of the bankruptcy in November 2001:

Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes

C Y Total

Airbus
Airbus
A319-100 16 10 – 131 131 On order but never delivered

Airbus
Airbus
A320-200 20 – – 156 156

Airbus
Airbus
A321-200 9 – – 188 188

Airbus
Airbus
A330-200 11 – 54 187 241

Airbus
Airbus
A330-300 8 – 50 222 272

Airbus
Airbus
A340-200 2 – 54 198 252

Airbus
Airbus
A340-300 3[35] 3 52 242 294 On order but never delivered

Boeing 737-300 6 – – 126 126

Boeing 737-500 10 – – 111 111

McDonnell Douglas MD-11 2 – 48 249 297 Leased from CityBird

Total 87 13

Historical aircraft[edit]

Ansaldo A.300
Ansaldo A.300
(from SNETA) 1923- Avro XIX
Avro XIX
1949- Bell 47
Bell 47
1950-1962 Blériot-SPAD S.33
Blériot-SPAD S.33
(from SNETA) 1923- Boeing 707
Boeing 707
1959-1983 Boeing 727-100 Boeing 747-100
Boeing 747-100
1970-1990 Boeing 747-300
Boeing 747-300
1986-1999 Bristol Freighter
Bristol Freighter
1957-1964 operated by Air Charter Caudron Goéland 1949- Convair 240
Convair 240
1949- Convair 440
Convair 440
1956- de havilland Canada Dash 8-300 de Havilland DH.4 (from SNETA) 1923- de Havilland DH.9 (from SNETA) 1923- de Havilland DH.50 1925-1937 de Havilland Dove 1947-1954 de Havilland Dragon Rapide 1949- de Havilland Heron operated by BIAS as Common Market Commuter Douglas DC-3
Douglas DC-3
1939- Douglas DC-4
Douglas DC-4
1946- Douglas DC-6
Douglas DC-6
1947- Douglas DC-7
Douglas DC-7
1956- Farman Goliath
Farman Goliath
1923- Fokker F.II
Fokker F.II
1927-1934 Fokker F.VII
Fokker F.VII
1929-1945 Handley Page W.8 1924-1935 Junkers Ju 52/3M 1936-1946 Lockheed 14
Lockheed 14
1942-1954 Lockheed Super Constellation
Lockheed Super Constellation
three leased in 1958 Lockheed Lodestar
Lockheed Lodestar
1941-1942 McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30
1973-1997 Rumpler C.IV
Rumpler C.IV
(from SNETA) 1923- Rumpler C.VI (from SNETA) 1923- SABCA S.2 1926-1933 Savoia-Marchetti SM.73
Savoia-Marchetti SM.73
1935-1940 Savoia-Marchetti SM.83
Savoia-Marchetti SM.83
1938-1940 Sikorsky S-55
Sikorsky S-55
1953-1956 Sikorsky S-58
Sikorsky S-58
1956-1963 Sikorsky S-62
Sikorsky S-62
1960-1961 Sud Alouette II
Sud Alouette II
1957- Sud Caravelle
Sud Caravelle
1961- Vertol 44
Vertol 44
1958 Westland Wessex 1930-1938

Destinations[edit] Main article: Sabena
Sabena
destinations See also[edit]

Aviation portal

Sabena
Sabena
Technics

References[edit] Notes[edit]

^ Von Schreiber, Sylvia. "Organisierte Pleite." Der Spiegel. 26 November 2001. "Wenige Stunden vorher geschah noch weit Merkwürdigeres: Polizisten der Brüsseler "Aufspürungsbrigade 4" drangen in die Privatwohnungen von vier Managern und in das Firmengebäude Sabena
Sabena
House am Flughafen Zaventem
Zaventem
ein." ^ "Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 24–30 March 1993. 119. ^ Rwandan Hotel Is Still Haunted by Horror, Marc Lacey, February 28, 2005, New York Times. ^ " Sabena
Sabena
finally gets justice - the judges felt that the demise of Sabena
Sabena
was a consequence of non-compliance by Swissair
Swissair
contractual obligations - DBNet report January 2011 accessed 26 December 2011". Dhnet.be. 2011-01-28. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "17 September 1946 accident at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1946-09-17. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-4-1009 OO-CBG Gander, NF". Aviation-safety.net. 1946-09-18. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "March 1948 crash near Heathrow at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "December 1949 crash at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1949-12-18. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "October 1953 crash at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1953-10-14. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "December 1953 crash at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "1954 military occurrence at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "1954 crash at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1955-02-13. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "Flight 548 at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1961-02-15. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "1968 crash at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1968-07-13. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "1970 incident at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "1970 hijacking at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "February 1978 incident at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "April 1978 incident at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "1998 incident at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1998-08-29. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "2000 hijacking at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 2000-10-13. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ Eismont, Maria. "Gunfire Damages Sabena
Sabena
Jet in Burundi, abc News". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "1943 crash at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1943-01-01. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "March 1944 crash at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1944-03-25. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "April 1944 accident at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1944-04-03. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "1945 incident at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1945-12-14. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "January 1947 crash at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1947-01-07. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "December 1947 crash at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1947-12-24. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "May 1948 crash at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1948-05-12. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "August 1948 crash at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1948-08-31. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "August 1949 crash at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1949-08-27. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "1951 accident at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1951-07-24. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "1952 crash at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1952-02-04. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "1958 crash at the Aviation Safety Network". Aviation-safety.net. 1958-05-18. Retrieved 2014-07-23.  ^ "Production List Search". www.planespotters.net. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 

Further reading[edit]

Vanthemsche, Guy (2002). La Sabena: L'Aviation Commerciale Belge, 1923 - 2001, des Origines au Crash (1st ed.). Brussels: De Boeck Univ. ISBN 9782804139810.  Vanthemsche, Guy (2000). "The Birth of Commercial Air Transport in Belgium
Belgium
(1919-1923)". Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire. 78 (3): 913–44. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sabena.

Sabena
Sabena
(Archive) Sabena
Sabena
India (Archive) Sabena
Sabena
Technics Sabena
Sabena
Flight Academy Sabeniens Official Virtual Airline Gumbel, Peter. "The Last Days of Sabena." TIME. Sunday October 20, 2002. Documents and clippings about Sabena
Sabena
in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics
German National Library of Economics
(ZBW).

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