On May 23, 1923 by the Belgian government, Sabena was founded to SNETA (Syndicat National pour l‘Etude des Transports aérien) was founded in 1919 to take over. SNETA was an organization that commercial aviation studied in Belgium.
The first paying flight operated by Sabena was from Rotterdam to Strasbourg via Brussels on April 1, 1924. Frequent flights to Amsterdam and Basle via Strasbourg were performed from 1923 with further routes to London, Bremen and Copenhagen in 1924.
After the Second World War, the fleet of Sabena in 1946 from Douglas DC-3 aircraft. Sabena was flying now called Sabena Belgian World Airlines. Sabena began its first trans-Atlantic route on June 4, 1947, the Douglas DC-4 was used. These aircraft were soon replaced by the DC-6B. These two types of re-took the historic routes to the Belgian Congo.
The Convair 240 was introduced in 1949 on European scheduled services, to replace the old DC-3s, which took care of all European services. In 1949, Sabena in 1946 founded the rival Sobelair (Société Belge des Transports aérien) left.
Under the wings of SABENA Sobelair developed into a charter company. In 1956, the Convair 440 ‘Metropolitan’ to replace the Convair 240, and were up in the sixties used on European regional routes. In 1957 the Douglas DC-7C “Seven Seas” was first used on long haul. But this plane was overtaken by three years after the arrival of the first jets.