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I have planned a trip to Berlin with a friend. We are leaving from different airports, he has planned leaving from Brussels (Zaventem airport) with Ryanair on 25th march.

Due to the recent events, Zaventem is closed. According to this communique Ryanair is moving flights to Charleroi. It is unclear whenever all the scheduled flights will be moved or just a part and at what time. It seems that only the departure airport was changed and nothing else.

However Charleroi is a small airport and I find it hard to believe it can cope with all that new air traffic. Also there are rumors that the lines at Charleroi are so huge that it is very hard to leave.

We cannot find official information, we contacted Ryanair (by live chat) yesterday and they had no information for the flights on 25th, only for flights on 23rd and 24th. Currently the chat service is down. As you can imagine, since we need to meet in Berlin, and this is a short trip, we'd like to be able to do some planning today or know if we should to give up.

Has anyone any experience with booked Ryanair flights from Brussels Zaventem scheduled on the past two days? I know this is a question that cannot be answered but: Can I reasonably expect my friend to be able to leave from Charleroi on scheduled time?

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up vote 24 down vote accepted

Ryanair moved all its flights to Charleroi according to their own communication with the original flight times until at least the 29th. You are right that Charleroi can not accommodate all flights for all airlines from Zaventem. But not all airlines are moving to Charleroi. Some are moving to other airports and others are cancelling. As an example, Brussels Airlines, the flagship carrier of Zaventem, is moving some flights to Antwerp and Liege, but none to Charleroi.

For Ryanair, moving everything to Charleroi makes a lot of sense because they already have a very strong presence there. For other carriers, this is not the case.

The schedule is rather well followed in Charleroi at the moment. You can follow the delays on the website of the airport (a bit slow at the moment). The major trouble will be getting in and out of the airport. I can confirm from a friend who arrived last night in the middle of the night that there are huge lines and very strict security checks, also on the road leading to the airport. Provide lots of time if you can. Also, only passengers are allowed inside the terminal building.

If your friends manage to get to the airport on time, I'd expect them to take off around the scheduled time.

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This answer is very appreciated, I was so worried. – Margaret Bloom Mar 24 at 9:40
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Also, BSCA (company managing the Charleroi airport) said yesterday that passengers should be there 4 hours before the departure time because of the huge lines. Also, people accompanying are not allowed in the airport anymore. – Olivier Grégoire Mar 24 at 13:45
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So now there are huge lines outside of the airport for the next attach, rather then inside of the air port. – Ian Ringrose Mar 24 at 16:36
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@Federico: Ohoh. Done. Thanks – ptityeti Mar 25 at 8:19

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