Usually, transporting valuables on a plane is seen as safer than using cars or trucks since a plane is always kept within the confines of an airport.
"We choose to transport goods via airplane precisely because of the safe and controlled nature of this means of transportation," de Wolf said in a statement emailed to reporters, acknowledging the heist would cause "significant" damage to Antwerp's reputation. "We do hope additional security measures can be put in place in order to safeguard a fluent and safe transport of diamonds."
Later in the day a second brazen jewel heist occurred in Paris' posh Printemps department store where thieves escaped with 3 million euros in jewelry, police said.
The two armed robbers entered the store about 6:45 p.m. They may have been wearing wigs and carried semi-automatic weapons and wore bullet-proof vests, according to French news reports. The thieves ordered a saleswoman to open the diamond cases, grabbed the stones and jewelry and escaped through a rear exit of the store. No one was injured.