Speaking last September on the arrival of the first emirates flight from Dubai, the CEO of Brussels Airport (the company that runs Zaventem), Arnaud Feist told journalists that “It is no secret that a direct service to the Japanese capital Tokyo is a clear aim.”
Speaking on hearing the news, the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel (Francophone liberal) said that it is “brilliant news" that there will be a direct air link between Brussels and Tokyo. The Prime Minister believes that the new route has come about as a direct consequence his and Deputy Prime Minister Kris Peeters' (Flemish Christian democrat) recent mission to Japan.
The Federal Employment Minister Kris Peeters expects that the introduction of direct flights will have important economic consequences.
"This is an extra stimulus to attract Japanese investors, something that the regions will be able to make the most of as the economy picks up”, Mr Peeters told journalists. Prime Minister Michel reminded journalists that the 300 Japanese companies that invest in Belgium account for 25,000 jobs.
The last direct flights between Brussels and Tokyo were operated by the former Belgian national airline Sabena that went under in November 2001.