Last weekend, Brussels Airlines was forced to cancel five flights as a result of a staff shortage due to illness or quarantine. At the beginning of the autumn holidays, the airline was working at full capacity, but the sudden shortage forced the company to cancel flights to New York, Prague, Stockholm, Tenerife, and Frankfurt spread over three days. However, travelers were offered an alternative whenever possible.
A spokesperson told Belga News Agency that many employees had to go into quantatine because their children tested positive for Covid-19. The spokesperson also added that, although Brussels Airlines is dealing with an exceptional number of sick people, the situation is not as critical as in the US, where American Airlines had to drastically reduce its operations and cancel hundreds of flights due to bad weather conditions and employees’ shortages.
Recent reports show that the airline is starting to recover from the crisis and has registered strong summer demand. According Nina Öwerdieck, CFO of Brussels Airlines, many travelers who were not able to travel because of lockdowns, were back on airplanes during the summer months, as well as after the holiday period. The September demand enabled the airline to register a longer summer peak. The company’s recovery on the third quarter was also possible thanks to the competitive cost position that followed the restructuring in the Reboot Plus program.
To face the personnel shortage, Brussels Airlines is planning to utilise extra reserves for the upcoming weekend that marks the end of the autumn holidays.