BRUSSELS AIRLINES’S IMMEDIATE FINANCIAL FUTURE NOW SECURE
(Posted 21st August 2020)
On July 24th, Brussels Airlines announced that it had reached an agreement with the Belgian Federal Government and Lufthansa to secure the future of Belgium’s home carrier and herewith the long-term development of the airline through a stabilization package. On August 17, the package was approved by the German Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF).
Today the EU Commission has also given its approval.
The stabilization package of 460 million euro – €290 million from the Belgian Federal government and €170 million from Lufthansa – covers in part the losses incurred by Brussels Airlines due to 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 the package, the airline can finance its turnaround plan and herewith create a long-term and structurally profitable future.
Said Dieter Vranckx, CEO of Brussels Airlines, when he learned about the EU Commission’s approval: “With this news, we finally conclude the three pillars of our survival and long-term competitiveness. We are relieved that the execution of the financial transaction can take place. We will now shift all our focus towards a timely implementation of our turnaround plan Reboot Plus. Thanks to the support and trust we receive from our shareholder Lufthansa, the Belgian government and from all our employees, we can create a strong and competitive Brussels Airlines with long-term perspectives, an important engine for the Belgian economy. For that, I sincerely thank all involved parties.”
Brussels Airlines has since the 15th of June restarted flight operations, first into the EU’s Schengen area before expanding their destinations also to countries outside the EU.
At the time did the airline also announce an ambitious restart programme to resume flights to West and East Africa and Entebbe in Uganda, in conjunction with Kigali in Rwanda was to relaunch on the 14th of July.
The Ugandan government however, in what is now seen as a totally irrational decision – all key neighbouring countries including Rwanda have resumed scheduled passenger flights – has until this day kept the airport locked down and has yet to give any comments as to when the blockade will end.
This has badly affected the country’s tourism and hospitality sectors which are facing financial ruin – and again has the Ugandan government not made one mention of a sound and serious financial assistance package leave alone a full bailout.
It is also understood that issues have emerged over planned repatriation flights with some airlines literally getting their clearances immediately while others are allegedly jerked around by bureaucrats turned out of control village chiefs.
Watch this space when Brussels Airlines will finally be able to resume flying to Entebbe.