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    Brussels Airlines justifies its importance to Belgium

    Credit: Belga

    Brussels Airlines has sent a document to the Belgian authorities to prove its importance to the Belgian economy, L’Echo reported on Wednesday.

    The airline has sent a summary of its activities to the authorities, trying to save itself from bankruptcy. The airline’s future will be discussed this week by the government, and Carsten Spohr, CEO of parent company Lufthansa, will meet with Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès.

    “We firmly believe that the continuity of the activities of Brussels Airlines is a matter of national interest given its central role in the Belgian economy and society,” the airline said in the document, which points out that several other European countries have significantly helped their airlines.

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    Brussels Airlines accounts for 40% of the traffic at Brussels Airport, contributing passengers and employing subcontractors. 

    Additionally, as a member of both the Star Alliance and Lufthansa Group, Brussels Airlines has attracted a series of other airlines (United, All Nippon, Air Canada) to Brussels. “It is estimated that 50% of the long-haul capacity of Brussels airport would disappear if Brussels Airlines were not present,” they said.

    They also noted factors beyond economic issues. For example, its frequent flights to European and international destinations remain an asset.

    The document comes after Prime Minister Wilmès demanded a detailed plan from Lufthansa on how to grow Brussels Airlines, with quantified targets for the long-term development of Brussels Airport as a hub.

    Jason Spinks
    The Brussels Times