#BrusselsAirlines financial turnaround secure

BELGIAN GOVERNMENT LINES UP STABILIZATION PACKAGE ALONGSIDE LUFTHANSA GROUP SUPPORT TO THE TUNE OF 460 MILLION EUROS

(Posted 24th July 2020)

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  • Stabilization package enables Belgium’s home carrier to overcome the unprecedented crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and to create a sustainable future.
  • €290 million loan from the Belgian state and €170 million capital injection by Lufthansa.
  • Agreement between the Belgian federal government and Lufthansa ensures the position of Brussels Airlines as one of the hub airlines of the Lufthansa Group based in Brussels.
  • Lufthansa’s financial support allows Brussels Airlines to implement its turnaround plan and herewith to create a long-term and structurally profitable future for the company.
  • The entire financing package is subject to the approval of the Economic Stabilisation Fund (WSF) of the Federal Republic of Germany and the consent of the EU Commission.

The Belgian Federal Government, Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines have reached an agreement securing the future of Belgium’s home carrier and herewith the long-term development of the airline.

The stabilization package of €290 million from the Belgian Federal government and the €170 million financial support of Lufthansa cover parts of the losses incurred by Brussels Airlines as a consequence of the crisis and secures at the same time tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs that are linked to the activities of Brussels Airlines. Thanks to Lufthansa, the airline can finance its restructuring plan and herewith offer the company a long-term and structurally profitable future. The financial support of Lufthansa shows that the German airline has full trust in the capabilities of Brussels Airlines to reach its turnaround.

The stabilization measures allow Brussels Airlines to overcome the present crisis and to continue operating its flights to generate sufficient funds to reimburse the loan.

Create a strong and competitive Brussels Airlines

Just like in the past, Brussels Airlines can also in future count on the support of its mother company Lufthansa. In the last years Lufthansa invested more than €600 million in our company, allowing us to rejuvenate our fleet and invest in a new cabin interior that increases our competitiveness and reduces our CO2 footprint” explains Dieter Vranckx , CEO of Brussels Airlines. “Today, Lufthansa gives us the means to carry out our turnaround plan and offers Brussels Airlines a future with long-term perspectives.”

The Belgian federal government and Lufthansa are not the only stakeholders to support the airline in very difficult times. The Brussels Airlines employees are contributing enormously to the creation of a financially healthy and strong Brussels Airlines.

I am very grateful for the support and trust we receive from the Belgian government and our mother company Lufthansa. But I am also extremely thankful for the strong commitment of the Brussels Airlines employees. In an unprecedented crisis that has put a lot of pressure on our company, our staff remains fully engaged and stands behind the efforts we need to jointly make to overcome this crisis and to create a strong home carrier. It will not be easy, but I look forward to building a promising future for Brussels Airlines together with our employees for our customers, partners and service providers. We now have the unique opportunity to do it right and become the most reliable airline, making everyone feel at home.” added Dieter Vranckx, the CEO of Brussels Airlines.

Brussels Airlines has resumed operations across the Schengen area of Europe in mid June already and has progressively added more destinations.

The airline was to return to Entebbe in Uganda, via Kigali in Rwanda on the 14th of July but the complete silence of the Ugandan government over the reopening of the international airport in Entebbe has thrown these plans off course.

Owing to the lack of any competent response from various Ugandan government and aviation departments is it anyone’s guess now when the airport will reopen for international scheduled passenger flights.

In stark contrast both Kenya and Rwanda have announced their opening of the international airports on the 01st of August, leaving the playing field in East Africa for airlines and tourism for themselves – together with Tanzania which has been open for a while already – to exploit while the Ugandan tourism fraternity is staring ruin in the face.

Added Dieter Vranckx then in a letter to all the airline’s customers

Dear customers,

This week was a very important one for Brussels Airlines, its employees, its customers and partners.

Together with the Belgian government, our mother company, Lufthansa and our employees, a package of measures has been concluded to overcome the economic crisis that touches all of us. The financial support, which is still pending the approval of the European Commission and the Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) of the Federal Republic of Germany, paves the way for a sustainable future for Brussels Airlines and its hub in the heart of Europe.

For you, our customers, this means that there will be full focus on your needs, whereby our network will be expanded to respond to your travel needs in a reliable and safe way. As of September, we will offer 70 destinations and 45% of our usual capacity, which we plan to increase further in November.

We realize that we have not been a very reliable partner lately, with volatile travel restrictions leading to flight cancellations and an unstable flight offer.

The grounding of our planes lasted three months and the reduced network after the lockdown has disrupted the travel plans of almost 3 million of our passengers. Consequently, we were faced with an unprecedented amount of customer questions concerning rebookings and refunds, leading to an overload of our service centers. We maximized our capacity, but were unfortunately not able to respond to all our customers in a timely manner.

We sincerely apologize for this low reliability as well as the patience we had to ask from you. Rest assured that we do everything in our power to help you with your requests as soon as possible. Our first priority now is to live up to our promise, starting with a smoother and faster refund process, as we now see some stabilization in the number of service requests.

In order to give you as much freedom as possible when planning your travels, we will continue to offer maximum flexibility for changing your flights if needed, as well as the option to use the value of your ticket for travel until December 2021.

All details of the flexible booking policy can be found on brusselsairlines.com.

Thank you for your trust!

We look forward to showing you our extra smile again soon on board one of our flights.
Sincerely,
Dieter Vranckx
CEO Brussels Airlines

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