Belgian Air, Train Travel Hobbled After Bombings in Brussels

Flights and train services in and out of Brussels were canceled and security precautions were stepped up at travel hubs around Europe after deadly bombings in the Belgian capital’s airport and subway system.

Operations are suspended at the airport, which has been evacuated, according to the hub’s Twitter feed Tuesday. Arriving air traffic was redirected to other cities, including Amsterdam, Dusseldorf and Charleroi in Belgium, according to airlines. The metro, trams and bus lines in Brussels were shut, and the Belgian national railway asked travelers to not take trains to the city.

The high-speed Thalys train that runs between Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam canceled service to the Belgian capital, as did the Eurostar line serving Paris, London and Brussels, according to Twitter feeds from the rail services. Deutsche Bahn trains between Frankfurt and Brussels are beginning and ending at the German city of Aachen until further notice, the rail operator said on its website.

One Thalys train en route from Paris to Brussels was diverted to the French city of Lille, on the Belgian border, according to a Bloomberg News reporter on board. Alain Vandenbrande, who runs a 120-employee company that performs cleaning services at Brussels Airport, aborted his trip to Paris Tuesday morning after learning of the attacks.

Security has been reinforced at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports and delays are expected, Aeroports de Paris, which operates the hubs, said in a statement. Controls have been at the highest level since the November terrorist attacks in Paris, but now more border police are patrolling the public areas of the terminals, before passenger check-in, according to an airport employee. Riot police also are patrolling those areas after Tuesday’s attacks in Brussels, the employee said.

Identity and ticket checks will be introduced at the entrances to stations and airports, France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in televised comments.

Germany’s federal border police stepped up control measures at the frontier with Belgium, and also at rail stations and airports, said Frank Borchert, a police spokesman.

The Thalys train service was the scene of an attempted attack in August when a 25-year-old Moroccan man with an automatic rifle was overpowered by passengers. Normal Eurostar service should resume Wednesday, the railway said on Twitter, as demand is likely to bounce back.