Brussels Airlines, one of the main Belgian airlines and currently part of the Lufthansa group, has announced it will dismiss 1000 employees (800 FTE). The current COVID-19 crisis has meant that the company is unable to fly its planes which has led to significant losses. In order to cope with these issues the company management aims to reduce business activity and personnel levels by a quarter. It will also reduce its fleet from 48 to 38 aircraft. In addition it will reduce its flight network and cancel 24 of its travel destinations that are not profitable.
The company has applied for €290 million in state funding. Whether the company will ultimately receive it is currently unclear, as Minister of Finance De Croo (Open VLD) demands guarantees from the Lufthansa group with regards to its long term plans with the subsidiary. There are also suggestions that the state should gain a shareholding in the company for any rescue monies that the group receives.
Meanwhile the trade unions have announced they are currently unwilling to negotiate with the company management about a possible social plan for all employees that will be faced with dismissal. They demand more clarity on the situation and state that the current proposals by the management are unrealistic as well as unlawful.