#BrusselsAirlines reaches milestone agreement with unions


(Posted 26th June 2020)

Agreement reached earlier today to keep airline on solid financial footing

  • Agreement reached today between the management of Brussels Airlines and the Workers Council on structural measures increasing the competitiveness of the airline and herewith offering long-term perspectives to its employees.
  • Measures taken reduce the number of forced dismissals to a minimum
  • Strong support in terms of job search and career change will be provided to employees who leave the company.
  • Structural measures allow for productivity increase and unit cost decrease to create a long-term sustainable future

Earlier today, an agreement was reached between the Brussels Airlines management and its social partners, representing the more than 4,000 employees of the company’s different departments: Cockpit crew, Cabin crew, Maintenance & Engineering, Ground Operations and Support Functions.

As announced in May, Brussels Airlines needs to take substantial measures in order to create a long-term future for the company. The carrier needs to structurally reduce its costs to a competitive level. Today, the Management and the Worker’s Council of Brussels Airlines came to an agreement that allows them to tackle the company’s immediate and future needs.

Reaching an agreement with our social partners and jointly taking responsibility for structural change for Brussels Airlines, is a key milestone towards a long-term competitive company. I wish to thank the union representatives for taking this crucial step together with us. By implementing our turnaround plan, we will start building a financially healthy airline that will first become smaller and structurally profitable, followed by growth. This will create perspectives to its employees, customers and stakeholders.”

Said Dieter Vranckx, CEO Brussels Airlines

The agreement safeguards 75% of the jobs, evenly spread across departments. The priority of both the management and the unions was to look at all possible options to avoid forced dismissals as much as possible. Thanks to alternative options, which include early retirement, part-time working, time credit, voluntary departure and unpaid leave, the number of forced dismissals can be limited to a minimum.

For the employees who leave the company, Brussels Airlines offers outplacement during 12 months to help them with their career transition, in cooperation with Travvant.

While the turnaround plan is indispensable to overcome the crisis and become structurally competitive, the ongoing discussions to secure the financing of the company remain essential. The Belgian home carrier hopes for a positive outcome of the ongoing talks on the financial support that is needed to overcome the consequences of this unprecedented crisis and to restructure the company.

While the airline has resumed flights within the Schengen area of Europe in line with EU recommendations are flights beyond the immediate Schengen area still awaiting approvals from the respective destination countries. The airline intended to resume services to the US, but given the spike of pandemic cases, caused by a second wave of infections, has seen the EU suggest to member states that flights from the US be banned for the time being.

The airline also intended to return to Africa by mid July but in the case of Uganda does the airport for now remain closed and the government in Kampala has not given any indication of a concrete date as yet. It also appears that work at the international airport to make it ICAO regulations compliant, is far from complete as the CEO’s contract was brought to an end following ultimative demands of a 40 million US Dollar budget to accomplish the new physical distancing and scanning procedures.

Once dates have been confirmed for the resumption of Africa flights will ATCNews report updates promptly

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