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€93 million loss for Brussels Airlines in first quarter

Credit: Belga

Brussels Airlines recorded a loss of €93 million in the first quarter of this year, parent company Lufthansa announced on Wednesday in its quarterly report.

The €93 million is almost double the loss already incurred in the same period last year (€47 million). The number of passengers fell by a quarter to 1.55 million.

Turnover for the Belgian airline fell by 17% to €233 million.

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“Ongoing restructuring programmes at (…) Brussels Airlines are being further intensified,” Lufthansa Group confirmed in a press release, restating that “Brussels Airlines plans to reduce its fleet by 30% and its workforce by 25%.” 

In May, Brussels Airlines pilots had proposed to reduce their working hours and salary by 45% until 2023 to avoid job losses and save the company up to €100 million, to which management reacted that it favoured structural solutions over temporary measures.

Discussions with the Belgian authorities are ongoing regarding state aid, with measures worth €290 million on the table, but talks are complicated because the Belgian government wants guarantees that the money will go to Brussels Airlines and not to the group as a whole.

The government had proposed a solution in which it would get a seat on the Brussels Airlines board, a solution to which Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr was not opposed. However, the plan clashes with EU rules.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times