As of Friday, the airline Brussels Airlines will ground all aircraft for regular passenger flights. That was decided after a consultation between the management and the unions. Brussels Airlines aircraft would remain on the ground at least until Sunday 19 April. The Mediahuis newspapers report this, among other things. In this way, the airline hopes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The lion’s share of staff has been in a 30 percent temporary technical unemployment regime since Monday. Full technical unemployment will now be claimed for them. Brussels Airlines refers to the advice of Foreign Affairs that advises against traveling abroad and prohibiting flying to a few countries.
“As a responsible company, we must make the decision to temporarily shut down our operations,” said CEO Dieter Vranckx in a press release. “This will allow us to reduce the negative financial impact on our society.”
In the coming days, the number of flights will be reduced until the last plane takes off on Friday. Brussels Airlines will keep “a minimum aircraft capacity” on standby for possible repatriation flights for Belgians from abroad.
The airline previously gave travelers the opportunity to rebook their trip at favorable conditions. They can choose a new travel date and a new destination until 1 June.
Almost all Brussels Airlines staff will not work for four weeks. There will be some exceptions, namely the people who arrange the repatriation flights and the restart of the flights scheduled for April 20. Brussels Airlines is currently discussing state aid with the government.