Brussels Airport queues disappear after security checks eased

Passengers at the check-in of the departure hall at Brussels Airport on the first day of its partial re-opening on May 2, 2016.
Passengers at the check-in of the departure hall at Brussels Airport on the first day of its partial re-opening on May 2, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - Brussels Airport, where 16 people were killed in suicide attacks on March 22, appeared back to normal on Wednesday (May 4) after strict security checks were eased following complaints about lengthy queues and missed flights.

The airport opened part of the departure hall on Monday, increasing flights to about 80 percent of full capacity from some 20 percent when it restarted a month ago.

However, queues were so long on Monday and Tuesday that passengers had to wait two to three hours just to enter the building.

Belgium's interior ministry then authorised a change to a system of just scanning the baggage of some passengers, rather than everyone, arriving at the departure hall.

"It is a busy day today with a public holiday on Thursday but the queues we saw on Monday and Tuesday have disappeared," a spokeswoman for Brussels Airport said. A Reuters journalist entered the departure hall without any delay.

Brussels Airport is the largest in Belgium and an important international hub for flights to Africa as well as for Brussels Airlines, in which Lufthansa has a stake.