Brussels Airlines suspends operations until May

Brussels Airlines Belgian Icon fleet

Brussels Airlines suspends operations until May. In a statement the airline said it would not restart operations until May 15th. The date of resumption of operations has not been announced. This comes after widespread travel ban and restrictions imposed by nations on a global scale. This is part of the Lufthansa group which has grounded around 700 planes.

Suspension of operations

Brussels Airlines suspends operations until May. It had previously announced it would restart operations from April 20th when it had suspended operations on March 21st. This extension of suspension is mainly due to no travel demand because of worldwide travel restrictions.

Brussels Airlines has announced further suspension of operations until May 15th
Brussels Airlines suspends operations until May 15th due to drop in travel demand and has not announced date of commencement of operation. Photo: Brussels Airlines

The Airline will not restart operations until the May 15th. It is undecided whether it would restart operations after that. The airline has said it is keeping minimum flight operations for operating repatriation flights for the government.

“Just like the entire worldwide aviation and tourism sector, also Brussels Airlines is heavily impacted by this unprecedented crisis. Next to our passengers and employees, we should not forget about the many thousands of indirect jobs which are created in Belgium as a result of our Brussels Airlines operations. These companies are suffering too. I would like to take the opportunity and thank the incredible solidarity within the sector. I am convinced that jointly we can emerge from this crisis as an even stronger community.”

Statement by Brussels Airlines CEO Dieter Vranckx

The airline had said it would offer maximum flexibility for its passengers. It has said there will be a discount of €50 for every rebooking and that passengers have time until August 31st to decide the date of travel until 30th April 2021.

Brussels Airlines has grounded all its fleet except those used for repatriation
Brussels Airlines has an Airbus strong fleet of A319,A320 and A330s Photo: Brussels Airlines

Even after resuming operations the airline will operate by gradually scaling back operations subject to the travel climate and depending on the need. It has also been operating repatriation flights to bring home Belgian citizens.

Condition of Brussels Airlines employees

Initially when Brussels Airlines suspend operations until April 19th it had announced temporary suspension of its 4200 strong employees. Now since operations would not begin until the May 15th, the temporary suspension of its employees also extends.

An exception is made for employees who make repatriation flights, maintenance or those involved in preparation of restarting the operations.

Conclusion

Brussels Airlines which a part of the Lufthansa Group has announced extension of suspension citing low demand for travel. With the current trend of increasing restrictions and lockdowns we shouldn’t be surprised if other global airlines follow suite.

The precaution taken by Brussels Airlines in not announcing the date of resumption is making it clear that the airline is not in a hurry to restart as they would like to approach this in a cautious manner after careful analysis.

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