Air Belgium (ABB, Brussels Charleroi) does not plan to acquire own narrowbody aircraft nor operate own short-haul services but will instead rely on a network of partners and possible wet-leases, CEO Niky Terzakis has told

"We are not aiming at directly operating a short-haul network of our own. We will privilege partnerships and commercial arrangements with reputable short-haul airlines. For some specific routes, we may be wet-leasing some short-haul, single-aisle aircraft," Terzakis has said.

The carrier plans to launch operations in March 2018 with 4x weekly services out of Brussels Charleroi to Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok, operated with a pair of ex-Finnair A340-300s.

During the first phase of growth, the nascent carrier which is still undergoing the process of obtaining an air operator's certificate (AOC) also plans to establish a network of feeder partners and announce further destinations in China.

"We will be serving six other destinations on the Chinese mainland as of May 2018," Terzakis has said.

Due to operational restrictions, the carrier will initially be payload-restricted on the eastbound leg of its Hongkong flights. Air Belgium will not be able to carry a full load of bellyhold cargo and will initially operate with aircraft configured for 257 passengers, Terzakis told ch-aviation in February 2018. Once the runway at Brussels Charleroi is extended, the carrier plans to reconfigure the aircraft for up to 303 passengers.

In the second phase of Air Belgium's growth around 2020, the carrier eyes adding new equipment in the form of either A330-900s or A350s. The airline is already negotiating with Airbus. Later, the carrier also plans to add services to North and South America.

Air Belgium also intends to use a new premium terminal for its business class passengers. The facility is under development by the regional authorities but is not slated for opening before mid-2019.