Brussels Airlines: Lufthansa wants deal with Belgian government by Friday
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    Brussels Airlines: Lufthansa wants deal with Belgian government by Friday

    Credit: Brussels Airlines

    The Lufthansa group has reportedly set a deadline on reaching a deal with the Belgian government about its subsidiary Brussels Airlines.

    By Friday 10 July, the German company wants an agreement with the Belgian government because, it said that “time is running out” for Brussels Airlines, reports VRT.

    As it concerns ongoing negotiations, however, Brussels Airlines declined to confirm or comment on the details.

    In recent weeks, Lufthansa has been busy with its own rescue, and the Belgian government was waiting for the social agreement between trade unions and Brussels Airlines on the restructuring.

    Two weeks ago, the management and trade unions of Brussels Airlines reached an agreement in which 1 out of 4 jobs will disappear, with as many voluntary departures as possible.

    The German company has already invested almost half a billion euros in Brussels Airlines in recent years, but is now also looking to the Belgian government to provide financial – temporary – assistance.

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    Brussels Airlines needs at least €290 million in aid to bridge the coronavirus crisis. The Belgian government is willing to lend part of that money to the company, and invest part of it in the capital of Brussels Airlines. However, Lufthansa does not agree with the guarantees that the Belgian governments wants in exchange.

    In recent weeks, Lufthansa made agreements with governments in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, to support the airlines Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian during the coronavirus crisis.

    Lufthansa has an agreement with Berlin for more than €9 billion, Swiss with Zurich for just over €1, and Austrian with Vienna for more than €400 million.

    The company is now also looking for a similar deal with the Belgian government, as the company announced in a letter to the Belgian government last week. What will happen with Brussels Airlines if a deal is not reached remains unclear, but Francophone newspaper La Libre reported in June that Lufthansa could let Brussels Airlines go bankrupt, citing inside sources.

    On Wednesday, it was announced that the federal government has earmarked €1 billion to use in case of a possible second wave of coronavirus infections. However, the funds could also be used for possible aid to Brussels Airlines.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times