Friday, 19 June 2020
The Lufthansa group could let its subsidiary Brussels Airlines go bankrupt if no rescue agreement is reached with the Belgian government, La Libre reports.
Citing several inside sources, the Francophone newspaper said that the German company is no longer excluding the option of dropping Brussels Airlines and letting it file for bankruptcy.
Board members of Brussels Airlines and the Lufthansa group are set to meet on Monday, the paper added.
But a communications official with Lufthansa said that there were currently “no plans to sell Brussels Airlines and that the company hoped to find an agreement with the Belgian government.
Wencke Lemmes, a spokesperson for Brussels Airlines, also said that the reports were “pure speculation” but declined to confirmed whether the meeting between the two groups would take place on Monday.
Talks between Lufthansa and the Belgian government over a roughly €300 million reboot package have been ongoing for weeks and have seen Belgium push for growth guarantees for its national airlines, including by becoming a larger shareholder, a move rejected by Lufthansa.
The negotiations have also been slowed down as airline staff refused to accept the “indigestible” proposals of management, Bruzz reports.
As part of its relaunching plan, the airline in May said that it would dismiss some 1,000 out of a total of 4,000 employees.
The news comes as the airline restarts operations after a 12-week shutdown, reporting full flights to several destinations, including hard-hit Italy and Spain, but also a positive restart for business destinations like Vienna or Budapest.
Reacting to the reports, a representative of the ACLVB/CGSLB liberal trade union said that Belgium’s flag carrier has been “dead and buried ten times over.”
“I don’t think we should be distracted by that,” union secretary Filip Lemberechts told HLN, adding that there was no reason to panic as the negotiations were still ongoing.
The Brussels Times