Air Belgium (KF, Brussels Charleroi) has commenced commercial flight operations following the completion of a one-off charter flight for Surinam Airways (PY, Paramaribo Int'l) on Thursday, March 29.

Chief executive Niky Terzakis told ch-aviation in a statement that although Air Belgium may operate ad-hoc charters as and when spare capacity permits, its focus is still the scheduled services niche in which it is due to commence operations on April 30 with 4x weekly Brussels Charleroi-Hong Kong Int'l flights. Additional destinations in mainland China will be added during the course fo the summer.

The start-up has since clarified its shareholding structure following the increase in its paid-up share capital to EUR20 million euros (USD24.65 million).

In a statement, Air Belgium said its five shareholders include Aviation Investment Holding (AIH) nv, whose directors include Peter Yip, Alexey Sumchenko and Mikko Rautio, with 49.995%. Company records indicate Aviation Investment Holding is itself owned by Hong Kong-based firms Pioneer Topworld Ltd and Sky Master Holdings Ltd.

The second largest shareholder is 3T Management & Associates bvba, represented by Terzakis, with 19.993%; then Société Régionale d’Investissement de Wallonie (SRIW) nv, whose director is Sparaxis nv, and represented by Eric Bauche, with 12.501%; Federale Participatie- en Investeringsmaatschappij (FPIM) nv, represented by Jean-Marie Focant, with 12.501%; Sabena Aerospace nv, whose director is B-Global Management bvba, represented by Stéphane Burton, with 5.010%.

Banque CPH is an observer by virtue of the EUR3 million funding facility extended to the airline.