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How the EU Commission’s Stabilization Package Approval Will Shape Brussels Airlines’ Future
The EU Commission has officially given Brussels Airlines permission to restructure and finance its future plans through its approved stabilization package, which was originally proposed on July 24. The stabilization package was approved by the EU Commission on Aug. 21 after the German Economic Stabilization Fund authorized the package on Aug. 17, as Lufthansa, the airline’s major shareholder and Germany’s largest air carrier, plays a pivotal role in the Belgian flag carrier’s future.
“Thanks to the support and trust we receive from our shareholder Lufthansa, the Belgian government and from all our employees, we can create a strong and competitive Brussels Airlines with long-term perspectives, an important engine for the Belgian economy. For that, I sincerely thank all involved parties,” Brussels Airlines CEO Dieter Vranckx said.
The executive also said that he and the airline is excited to be able to turn to the future after what had been a very uncertain few months.
“With this news, we finally conclude the three pillars of our survival and long-term competitiveness. We are relieved that the execution of the financial transaction can take place,” Vranckx added. “We will now shift all our focus towards the timely implementation of our turnaround plan Reboot Plus.”
Within the stabilization package, Brussels Airlines will receive 460 million euros ($542.57 million), comprised of 290 million euros from the Belgian government and 170 million euros from its parent company and major shareholder, Lufthansa. Furthermore, these funds are expected to help the airline make up for losses and fund its future plans, as the carrier reported a loss of 182 million euros in the first half of 2020 due to the global pandemic and slump in travel demand.
The Future for Brussels Airlines
As Brussels Airlines began to return aircraft to the skies from the beginning of the summer, this financial package will allow the airline to cushion itself to train its pilots and prepare its fleet of Airbus A319s, A320s and A330s to fly its routes and meet the seasonal travel demands.
Additionally, the Brussels, Belgium-based carrier released its plans to resume and expand flight services across Europe for September and October. Its long-haul flight operations will resume sooner due to EU travel restrictions to certain destinations in the airline’s network.
The airline’s success in receiving this financial transaction will not just provide flexibility for the airline to begin its plan for resuming flights. The stabilization package will also play a crucial role in ensuring Brussels Airlines remains an integral part of the Lufthansa Group, along with other members, Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Airlines and Eurowings.
The group lauded the announcement, saying it would allow the Lufthansa Group to continue to serve as a true competitor against its major foes, Air France-KLM and the International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways, among other airlines.
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