Brussels airport 'technically ready' to reopen, but no flight before Friday

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Brussels (AFP)

Brussels airport said it was "technically ready" to reopen following last week's deadly suicide bombings, but that there would be no flights before Friday evening at the earliest.

The departure hall at Zaventem airport was badly damaged when two attackers set off their bombs on March 22 and the airport this week started tests for a temporary check-in system.

"Brussels Airport Company has received the go ahead from the fire services and the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority for a partial restart of passenger flights at the airport," the airport said in a statement Thursday.

"The airport is thus technically ready for a restart of passenger flights in the temporary infrastructure foreseen for check-in," it added.

"However, the authorities have yet to take a formal decision on the restart date. Until Friday evening no passenger flights will take place at Brussels Airport."

The temporary arrangements set up outside the departure hall would be able to handle 800 departing passengers per hour, around 20 percent of the airport's normal capacity, it said.

Arriving passengers will go through the usual baggage reclaim and arrivals area in the terminal as it was "only slightly damaged and has since been restored for use", the airport added.