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Brussels Airlines pilots propose 45% pay cut

© Brussels Airlines

The pilots of Brussels Airlines proposed to reduce their working hours and salary by 45% until 2023 to keep their jobs, in an open letter.

Talks have started with the Belgian government for the airline to obtain state aid, but an agreement has not been reached yet. Earlier this month, Brussels Airlines announced plans to cut some 310 jobs in Belgium, and several flight destinations, citing the “extremely negative impact” of the coronavirus pandemic on operations.

However, the pilots decided not to wait, and unveiled a proposal of their own, to “accept a significant reduction of our working regimes and therefore of our salaries” until 2023, in an open letter. The three Brussels Airlines trade unions support the open letter of the pilots, reports VRT.

“The cockpit crew will reduce their salaries by up to 45%,” they added. This way, the company will avoid having to pay more than €22 million in redundancy payments. These wage reductions will allow the company to save up to €100 million by 2023.

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The coronavirus crisis has further weakened the situation of Brussels Airlines and there is no chance of survival without financial help from Lufthansa and the Belgian state, they wrote.

“The current state of affairs is very gloomy,” the letter reads. “Not only for more than 1,000 Brussels Airlines employees threatened with forced redundancy, but also for the employees at and around the airport who will be directly or indirectly affected by the absence of a national airline. Due to the possible disappearance of Brussels Airlines, an entire ecosystem of companies at and around our airport in Brussels-Zaventem is threatened with extinction,” the pilots added.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times