Friday, 10 April 2020

Brussels Airlines extends flight suspension and will get state aid......

Brussels Airlines, the Belgian subsidiary carrier of the Lufthansa Group has confirmed this week that it will extend its flight suspension until 15th May as the coronavirus COVID-19 disruption continues.   

The airline had previously said it would resume flying on April 20th, yet as the crisis continues at such a pace, that would not be possible and when it does start up again, it will be on a much reduced and limited schedule, which will slowly be built upon as demand increases. 

“Just like the entire worldwide aviation and tourism sector, also Brussels Airlines is heavily impacted by this unprecedented crisis." Dieter Vranckx – CEO of Brussels Airlines said: "I am convinced that jointly we can emerge from this crisis as an even stronger community.”

In line with the suspension extension, the firm will prolong the full temporary unemployment for the entire company. Exceptions are made for Brussels Airlines employees who cover the repatriation flights, maintain the fleet or prepare the restart of the operations.
  
However, Etienne Davignon - Chairman of the Board of Brussels Airlines there is more hope on the horizon for the carrier. He told Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique on Saturday, 10th April, that “The principle is now established that we will benefit from state aid" as the airline faces their biggest peacetime crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, ever. 


So far there has not been a response from the airline or from the Belgian authorities over whether state aid has been granted or will be in the near future.   Davignon commented that the aviation industry was strategic for the Belgian economy, which would justify getting state aid, whist nationalising the airline would “make no sense,”. 

  The airline is keeping a scalation operation going to be able to operate repatriation flights for the government and to transport humanitarian freight.

An extensive and flexible goodwill policy for customers during these very challenging times full of uncertainties, Brussels Airlines offers its passengers high flexibility in terms of rebooking options. Passengers have the time until 31 August to decide on a new travel date that can take place up to 30 April 2021. Next to delaying their travel, passengers can also choose to change their ticket to another destination.  

On top of this, Brussels Airlines offers its customers a discount voucher of 50 euros per passenger for a rebooking. Of course, rebooking fees will not be charged, regardless of which fare was booked. More information can be found on www.brusselsairlines.com and https://brusselsairlines.flightvoucher.com.









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