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    Brussels Airlines restructuring: 60 layoffs confirmed

    © Belga
    Credit: © Belga
    © Belga

    Brussels Airlines has confirmed that it will have to make 60 staff members redundant in the coming months as part of the restructuring plan to rescue the struggling airline.

    “The priority of both management and trade unions has been to examine all options to avoid redundancies as much as possible. Thanks to several alternatives, the number of redundancies has been limited to 60”, the airline explained in an announcement on Thursday.

    As previously announced, staff agreeing to move to part-time work and seasonal contracts for cabin and cockpit crew ensured that there would be no redundancies in these departments. In addition, 280 workers of the company opted for a voluntary departure. Forty took early retirement, 110 took their pensions and 26 left the company under the unemployment scheme with a company supplement. 99 people chose to work part-time.

    The management and the trade unions concluded a social agreement on 26 June. This agreement is part of the transformation plan of Brussels Airlines which should enable it to become a structurally profitable company. After negotiating for approximately three months, the Belgian and German negotiating teams reached an agreement about the rescue of Brussels Airlines.

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    As part of the agreement, the Belgian government will lend €290 million to the airline, in exchange for firm guarantees on the future of the company, reports VRT. Lufthansa itself will also contribute €170 million. Part of this sum will serve to finance the restructuring, while another part will be used to strengthen the capital under pressure from the coronavirus crisis.

    Bert Van Rompaey, head of the HR division, stressed on Thursday that he is extremely grateful “for the incredible solidarity and strength that our employees have shown during this difficult period. Thanks to everyone’s dedication and exemplary commitment, we have been able to reduce the number of redundancies to a minimum”.

    In recent weeks, the financial position of Brussels Airlines came under increasing pressure, and the airline even announced that would temporarily stop expanding its flights and destinations at the beginning of August.

    As of yet, there has been no further communication on when and if the future expansion will come into play for the airline.

    Jules Johnston
    The Brussels Times