An unusual sight at Antwerp Airport

There was a larger than normal plane on the tarmac at Antwerp’s Deurne Airport on Saturday evening. An Airbus 320 landed there to pick up a Greek football team that wanted to return to Athens. Under normal circumstances Deurne is considered too small to accommodate commercial flights using Airbus 320. However, an exception was made as this was a charter flight with a limited number of passengers.

The runway at Deurne is 1,510 metres longs and as such can accommodate an Airbus A320 if certain restrictions are observed.

Airport Commandant Wim Verbist told the press agency Belga that "We have a short runway and consequently an A320 can’t operate commercial flights from here. However, if the A320 is being used for a private charter flight with a limited number of passengers then it is allowed”.

The Aegean Airlines plane landed empty on Saturday. It can carry up to 180 passengers, but took off with between 50 and 60 passengers from a Greek football team.

"This is not the kind of plane that could operate here every day. For that you would need a runway of between 2,000 and 2,200 metres”, Mr Verbist added.

Top stories