Sabena has gone to the Brussels Trade tribunal to try and claim more than 95 million euros in damages and interest from Airbus. The lawyers think that the European air company, who ordered 34 planes in 1997 costing more than a billion dollars, is also in part responsible for Sabena going bankrupt, l’Echo revealed on Tuesday. “Sabena, pushed by Swissair, its manager, arranged an order of 34 Airbuses, with no equity or financial help from Swissair or Airbus”, claimed Sylvie Van Ommeslaghe, Sabena’s lawyer, on Monday.
According to her, the decision to go ahead with a complete renewal of the fleet, by ordering planes more expensive than Boeings and with a delivery deadline of four years, is not normal. “Swissair first agreed a scenario with Airbus, that it hid from Sabena”, she said.
The managers of Sabena tried to angle towards Boeings, but found the deal was already done, the curators claim. In front of the Trade Tribunal on Monday, they asked for half the order of 34 planes to be cancelled, the damages for which it valued at 78 million dollars. This sum and other rental reimbursements add up to 95.8 million dollars. Airbus’ lawyers will speak next week.
Maria Novak (Source: Belga)