Virgin Express has re-introduced services between Nice and Brussels by reviving its French subsidiary.

Air Provence Charter, which was a joint venture involving EBA Eurobelgian Airlines when Richard Branson took EBA over in 1996, will initiate the service using a French registered Boeing 737-300 under the name of Virgin Express France.

Virgin Express temporarily suspended the service to Brussels in November 1997. The French operation has a maintenance base at Paris Charles de Gaulle and is considering additional routes.

Meanwhile, the Brussels, Belgium based low fare carrier is undergoing management changes. Finance director Jim Swigart replaces Jonathan Ornstein as chief executive, with Ornstein becoming chairman of the airline's holding company. His appointment as chief executive of struggling US regional airline group Mesa Airlines is also confirmed. Both executives have acquired holdings in Mesa.

The news comes as Virgin Express reveals a pre-tax profit for 1997 of BFr497 million ($13 million), a sixfold increase on the 1996 result of BFr80 million.

Source: Flight International