Belgian airspace closed Thursday night: controllers sick again

Belgian airspace closed Thursday night: controllers sick again

The Belgian airspace will be closed from 1:30 to 4:30 AM Friday morning because of several air traffic controllers being on sick leave, air traffic control company Skeyes announced on Thursday morning. Meanwhile, German air traffic controllers will manage scheduled flights to Liege airport. German air traffic controllers are stationed near Frankfurt. They escort aircraft af far as the Belgian border, after which an air corridor is formed to Liège. Control tower staff at Liege airport then ensure the flight security.

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Belgian pear producers are struggling

Belgian pear producers are struggling

Pear producers in Belgium are struggling because of ridiculously low prices and an over-abundant supply. The 2018 drought was the latest episode in a series of disasters (Russian embargo, late frosts, hurricanes, over-production in Europe amongst other), rendering a third of the pears grown that year unsellable. The spring 2018 drought caused a large quantity of pears to remain too small and be of poor quality. The price per kilo is also very low. “Because of the drought, there are fewer class A pears and smaller pears are now worth…

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Air Nostrum strike comes to an early end

Air Nostrum strike comes to an early end

The strike by pilots at Air Nostrum has ended following agreement between the Spanish airline and SEPLA, the union representing the pilots. The end of the strike, announced by Air Nostrum, is good news for Brussels Airlines, which collaborates with the Spanish company. The strike began on Monday with pilots protesting mainly against outsourcing, and was to have continued until Wednesday, then resume between 22 and 24 April. While its resolution has been welcomed, the 47 flights cancelled on Tuesday cannot be reabsorbed quickly into the company’s flight planning. The…

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US concert promoter Live Nation takes over Antwerp Sportpaleis

US concert promoter Live Nation takes over Antwerp Sportpaleis

Live Nation, the US concert promoter, has taken over the operating company of Antwerp’s Sportpaleis, spokesperson for Live Nation Belgium Nele Bigaré announced today. The amount of the transaction is not known. Besides Antwerp Sportpaleis, the operating company manages the Lotto Arena and the Stadsschouwburg (both in Antwerp), the Forest National (Brussels), the Capitole (Ghent), the Ethias Arena, the Ethias Theatre and the Grenslandhallen (Hasselt). Antwerp Sportpaleis SA is part of the Antwerp Sportpaleis Group. The spokesperson indicated that other group entities such as PES Belgium and Tele Ticket are…

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Jury discharged in trial of former Barclays executives

Jury discharged in trial of former Barclays executives

British passports that no longer say “European Union” began to be distributed on the 30th of March. This change was announced by the Home Affairs Minister on Saturday. The new passports have been handed out despite the fact that the final details of Brexit have not yet been set in stone. The initial date set was the 29th of March. The minister was questioned by a British citizen over Twitter on Friday. The citizen concerned said they were “really appalled” at their new passport cover. “We are still in the…

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Colruyt launches a bovine branch to cut out the middle-man

Colruyt launches a bovine branch to cut out the middle-man

The Colruyt Group have launched a bovine branch to cut out the middle-man and pay producers more. The new branch was announced by Le Soir and De Standaard on Saturday. The company is the biggest distributor in Belgium and it wants to cut out traders and meat wholesalers to buy Belgian blue directly from farmers, who would be grouped into producer organisations. Three of these organisations, which include 90 family farms (50 in Wallonia, 40 in Flanders) are included in the new branch. Their products will soon represent 10% of…

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Ryanair joins Europe’s top-10 CO2 emitting companies

Ryanair joins Europe’s top-10 CO2 emitting companies

Ryanair has now become one of Europe’s 10 biggest CO2-emitters, the Transport & Environment (T&E) organisation reported on Tuesday, based on data from the European Commission. This is the first time that an airline has made the top 10, usually dominated by companies active in the coal sector, according to T&E, which campaigns for cleaner transport in Europe based on the principles of sustainable development. Ryanair is in 10th place, with its CO2 emissions amounting to 9.8 million tonnes in 2018, 7% more than in 2017. Its emissions dwarf those…

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Shareholders of listed Belgian businesses get 6.3 billion euros

Shareholders of listed Belgian businesses get 6.3 billion euros

Listed Belgian businesses, excluding AB InBev, will give their shareholders a total of 6.3 billion euros, L’Echo and De Tijd reported on Saturday. Family-run businesses will be particularly generous. Listed Belgian businesses had a very good year in 2018: two thirds of them saw their turnover increase. Two thirds of the businesses that give their shareholders a coupon bonus will increase the value of that coupon after their General Meetings, which will take place soon. 24% of businesses decided not to change the bonus and 10% will decrease or abolish…

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Government steps in to defuse air traffic control dispute

Government steps in to defuse air traffic control dispute

The Belgian government has intervened in the dispute between Belgian air traffic controllers and the Belgian air traffic control agency Skeyes. Labour minister Kris Peeters has appointed not one, but two social mediators to unblock the conflict. As a result of the appointment all protest actions and strikes by air traffic controllers are suspended at least until Monday. The unions are keen to give the mediators a chance in their dispute about work pressure, employment numbers and air safety. Earlier attempts to reach agreement were not successful. The socialist union…

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European Commission wants joint approach on 5G

European Commission wants joint approach on 5G

EU Member States should conduct a risk analysis on 5G infrastructure in their countries by the end of June and exchange that information so as to develop a continent-wide risk analysis, the European Commission recommended on Tuesday. The Commission made the recommendation while presenting its plans to ensure the security of 5G development in the European Union in the face of suspicions of espionage by Chinese companies. The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security, ENISA, will help Member States in an EU global risk assessment to be conducted…

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