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Belgian International Air Services



Taken at Brussels in April 1971, the sole Caravelle of BIAS OO-CVA, the initials referring to its founder. (Photo: collection Skystef)

 

Base: Antwerp, Brussels
IATA: *
ICAO: AP
Fleet of commercial airliners: 7x DC3 / C-47 (OO-AUW,OO-AWJ, OO-CBX, OO-CBY, OO-SBC, OO-SBH, OO-UBT/OO-CBT), 3x DC4 / C-54 (OO-DEP, OO-RIC, OO-VAN) 4x DC6 (OO-ABE, OO-ABG, OO-GER, OO-HEX/OO-PAY) + 2x leased from SABENA (OO-CTN, OO-SDC), 1x Riley Dove (OO-BPL), 1x de Havilland Heron (OO-BIA), 5x F27 of which two leased from Danish Aero Lease and one from Fokker (OO-HLN, OO-SBP, OO-SCA, PH-ARO), 1x F28 leased from Fokker, 1x Caravelle (OO-CVA)
History: BIAS was formed on July 1 1959 by Charles Van Antwerpen to provide world-wide pax and cargo charters. On July 7 1959 the first commercial flight was made between Rotterdam and London Gatwick. When Congo became independent during 1960, there was urgently additional capacity needed to transport people and freight which BIAS could provide, so the DC4 aircraft were sent to Africa and from 1961 wet leased to the newly formed Congolese government, afterwards even sold to some of the local operators. During 1963 holiday charters were resumed from main base Brussels and in 1965 services were started within Libya to provide assistance for oil explorations and related activities. Seven DC3 were subleased to Linair, during 1967 replaced by three Fokker 27s and one Fokker 28 (1971). This contract ended during 1976. In 1967 BIAS signed a contract with SABENA to provide regional services from Brussels under the name of "Common Market Commuter". For this purpose a de Havilland Heron was bought and received the colors of the Belgian flag carrier and made its first flight to Eindhoven & Rotterdam on August 28 1967. One year later the technical troubled airplane was replaced by a F27 and this contract lasted until 1975. In 1971 the jet age was entered with the purchase of a Caravelle, during 1972 replaced by a couple of DC8's which went to a new subsidiary named BIAS International. In February 1973 shareholder Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) took also a major share in Delta Air Transport and the DC8's were transferred to a new subsidiary named Delta International, thus ending the flying activities with BIAS and its subsidiaries. The company remained in aviation business till February 1 1979 by leasing aircraft to third parties, OO-SBP being the final one. 

 

Belgian Airlines