Virgin Express

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Virgin Express
VEX .svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Ceased operations2006 (merged with SN Brussels Airlines to form Brussels Airlines)
HubsBrussels Airport
Fleet size10 (22 max)
Parent companySN Airholding
HeadquartersBuilding 116
Brussels Airport
Zaventem, Belgium
Key peopleNeil Burrows (CEO), Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Group

N.V. Virgin Express S.A. was an airline created within the Virgin Group. It operated flights mainly to southern Europe from its hub at Brussels Airport. Ticket sales were mainly through the Internet. The airline merged with SN Brussels Airlines to form Brussels Airlines, which started operations on 25 March 2007.[1] Virgin Express' head office was in Building 116 at Brussels Airport in Zaventem, Belgium, near Brussels.[2][3]


Virgin Express started on 23 April 1996, when the Virgin Group (with chairman Richard Branson) bought the Belgian leisure airline EBA (EuroBelgian Airlines), founded by Victor Hasson and Georges Gutelman, and rebranded it Virgin Express.[4] It also took over EBA's fleet of Boeing 737s and operated this type of aircraft from thereon. The airline soon concentrated on low-budget scheduled flights out of its Brussels hub, and became a major competitor for Sabena and later SN Brussels Airlines.

In October 2004, the Virgin Group sold its assets to SN Brussels Airlines, and both airlines were integrated into the parent holding company SN Airholding, chaired by Viscount Étienne Davignon.

On 31 March 2006, SN Brussels Airlines and Virgin Express announced their merger into a single company, named Brussels Airlines. The combined airline added long haul destinations and strengthened its position in Africa.[5]



Virgin Express Boeing 737-300

The Virgin Express fleet consisted of the following aircraft (as of August 2006):[6]

Virgin Express fleet
Aircraft Total
Boeing 737-300 5
Boeing 737-400 5

Three Boeing 737-300 (OO-VEX, OO-VEG and OO-VEH) were fitted with winglets (March 2007). The airline operated a maximum of 26 737s at its peak, and was given the first Joint Aviation Authorities air operator's certificate delivered by the Belgian Civil Aviation Authorities.

After the merger, all ten of the Virgin Express fleet went to Brussels Airlines. Brussels Airlines has since phased out its Boeing 737s.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Airliner World January 2007
  2. ^ "Contact Us." Virgin Express. 22 January 2005. Retrieved on 26 June 2010. "."
  3. ^ "imaging/IMG_directions_599x556.jpg." Virgin Express. Retrieved on 26 June 2010.
  4. ^ Company profile
  5. ^ "Destinations | Brussels Airlines". Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  6. ^ Flight International, 3–9 October 2006

External links[edit]

Media related to Virgin Express at Wikimedia Commons