The resumption of flights by Brussels Airlines, which had been planned for 20 April, is now scheduled for 15 May, the airline announced on Monday.
"The worldwide Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis and the ongoing travel restrictions imposed by many countries around the world, oblige Brussels Airlines to review the restart of its operations," the company explained in a press release.
This extension means that the temporary lay-off of the 4,200 employees will also be extended, with the exception of those employed on repatriation flights, fleet maintenance or preparing for the restart of operations, added Brussels Airlines, which says it is working to provide "a reduced network responding to the needs of business and leisure travellers."
- Belgian airlines call for lifeline of more than half a billion euros
- 'Renationalisation' to save Brussels Airlines is a possibility
- Charleroi Airport could partially resume flights on 4 May
"As of the moment of the restart of its operations, the airline will in a gradual approach scale up its network offer according to the demand and needs of the markets it serves. More information on the network offered as of May 15th will be communicated soon," Brussels Airlines further announced.
"Passengers have the time until 31 August to decide on a new travel date that can take place up to 30 April 2021. Next to delaying their travel, passengers can also choose to change their ticket to another destination," the airline explained. Customer service waiting times, however, continue to be exceptionally high, it added.
Dieter Vranckx, CEO of Brussels Airlines, also commented on the current state of the airline industry, expressing that he is convinced the industry can recover.
“Next to our passengers and employees, we should not forget about the many thousands of indirect jobs which are created in Belgium as a result of our Brussels Airlines operations. These companies are suffering too. I would like to take the opportunity and thank the incredible solidarity within the sector. I am convinced that jointly we can emerge from this crisis as an even stronger community,” Vranckx said in the release.
The Brussels Times