Brussels Airlines could have 12 long-haul aircraft by 2026, if the airline’s business plan is adhered to, Belgium’s Federal Finance Minister Alexander De Croo told the Finance Committee on Thursday.
The routes they operate are considered to be more profitable. The new aircraft will be quieter and less polluting, and will make it possible to reach certain destinations in the United States that cannot be reached from bases operated by Brussels Airlines’ parent company Lufthansa, such as Frankfurt or Munich.
The company currently has 10 long-haul aircraft, namely Airbus A330s (type 200 and 300).
De Croo reiterated the main points of the agreement reached with Lufthansa announced on 21 July: Belgium will grant a loan of €290 million over 6 years while the German company will allocate €170 million, of which €100 million in capital, and €70 million that will be used to finance the restructuring plan of Brussels Airlines.
The negotiations did not allow Belgium access to the company’s capital. “Lufthansa did not want another shareholder,” De Croo said.
From 2022 onwards, if the company’s capital continues to weaken, the credit will be able to become a profit certificate, thus strengthening the company’s solvency.
Two Belgian directors appointed by the Belgian State will also sit on the board of directors, but they have not been appointed yet.
“For this kind of function, we will choose people with significant experience and network in the economic world. These people will not get bored, they will have a lot of work to do. These two people must ensure that the business plan is carried out,” said De Croo.
A strategic committee will also be set up and chaired by one of the two directors appointed by the Belgian state.
A cascade mechanism has been developed in the event of a conflict, involving the appointment of a neutral expert, the CEO of the company and one of the representatives of the Belgian State, a mediator and finally the International Court of Mediation and Arbitration in Geneva.
If the dispute concerns the non-respect of financial commitments, it will be brought directly to Geneva.