The first flight out of Brussels the day after a European agreement with the airline industry to ease airspace restrictions was bound for Kinshasa.
Our correspondent observed a few take-offs and landing, mostly to and from southern Europe, Turkey and Africa.
A Brussels Airport spokesman talked about busying up the runways, perhaps to half their usual capacity on Wednesday. He said: “Activity is still relatively low compared to normal. Companies needed to be able to re-organise, and any slots they asked for were granted. Over the coming days, bit by bit, we’re going to get things back to normal, if there are no surprises.”
Arrival and departure halls made into makeshift camps for people going nowhere have largely emptied out. But an Egyptian couple was dreading the possibility of spending still more time in limbo, the husband saying: “We’ve been waiting for a flight for six days. It just stayed cancelled.”
The Belgian government announced it was sending military aircraft to repatriate some 33,000 of its nationals stranded abroad, notably in Africa.