75% of jobs saved as Brussels Airlines signs agreement with social partners

Brussels Airlines has signed an agreement with its social partners in an effort to safeguard 75% of cockpit crew, cabin crew, Maintenance & Engineering, Ground Operations and Support Functions positions. The agreement covers the carrier's 4000+ employees. This, the airline says, ensures the company's long-term profitability and will further help the carrier overcome the crisis.

Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-200 in the 'Belgian Red Devils' livery.

Brussels Airlines, which suspended operations for a number of months as a result of the pandemic, resumed flying on 15 June with a flight to Rome with one of its Airbus A320s featuring the iconic Belgian Red Devils livery.

The latest agreements do not safeguard 100% of the jobs, the company admits, but allows Brussels Airlines to bring job cuts to an absolute minimum. With the airline estimating travel demand to return to normal levels by about 2023, a number of announcements were made regarding the carrier's size which is now set to become much smaller.

Today's announcement is in line with the carrier's plan which was announced in May, to safeguard the positions of 75% of its employees. With this 25% cut, the airline will also be removing a number of planes from its fleet. The number of aircraft it will operate is to reduce by 30%, amounting to 38 planes.

In today's announcement, Brussels Airlines reiterated its plea to the government to provide financial aid. Discussions on that regard have become extremely stiff, with parent company Lufthansa Group yet to follow up on some of the government's demands in exchange for state aid. In May, it was clear that while the government did indeed want to help Brussels Airlines, it doubted Lufthansa's intentions. Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès has asked Lufthansa for a detailed plan in regards to Brussels Airlines' growth and lay down a number of commitments including targets surrounding Brussels Airport's future growth. Speculation suggests that the government is also looking at taking a stake in Lufthansa itself.

Rumours, which were dismissed by Brussels Airlines, previously indicated that Lufthansa was willing to withdraw from Brussels Airlines altogether, putting the latter's future at risk.

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