Brussels Airlines, Belgium’s national carrier, used all Belgian state aid to survive the Covid-19 crisis, declared Belgian Finance Minister Vincent Van Peteghem.
The state aid was approved by the European Commission in August 2020. The aid, which was granted in the form of a loan, was part of an agreement between the Belgian government and Lufthansa, a parent company of Brussels Airlines. Belgium’s federal government granted to the flagship airline 290 million euros, while Lufthansa an additional 170 million euros. Further help is currently not required.
In December 2020 and February 2021, Brussels Airlines used an amount of 190 million euros out of the total aid. The remaining money was spent in 2021. Minister Vincent Van Peteghem declared that the airline does not currently need any additional financial help. However, he added that the aviation and travel sector have to go through a normalization process by the upcoming summer to be able to bring in sufficient income.
Like most air carriers, also Brussels Airlines has been severely affected by the Covid-19 crisis. The implementation of the rescue plan caused a reduction of 25% of the airline’s staff, as well as 30% of the fleet. The Belgian company is expecting to break even in 2022, and to increase its fleet again by 2024.