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Brussels Airlines Lost 182 Million Euros In Six Months

Belgium’s biggest airline, Lufthansa subsidiary Brussels Airlines, said Thursday it had lost 182 million euros in the first six months of 2020 because of the coronavirus crisis.

First-half revenues fell to 252 million euros, 63 percent below the same period last year. Brussels Airlines transported two thirds fewer passengers between January and June as much of the world imposed anti-virus lockdowns.

Brussels Airlines suspended all scheduled flights from 21 March, running only special flights to repatriate Belgian and German citizens, transport medical equipment to Africa, and import medical masks from China.

Commercial flying resumed on June 15 as European countries began to ease their social and economic lockdowns, but the airline’s network remains limited.

“Due to the still volatile and highly unpredictable situation worldwide, it is not possible to make forecasts for 2020 as a whole,” the company warned.

Last month the Belgian state and the German flag-carrier Lufthansa struck a deal to rescue its struggling partner.

A Belgian government loan of 290 million euros ($337 million) and a capital injection of 170 million euros from Lufthansa will cover some of the airline’s losses.

But Brussels Airlines plans to use the money for restructuring that will see it shed around a quarter of its workforce — affecting around 1,000 people.

Lufthansa, the leading European transport group, was itself handed a nine billion euro bailout last month from the German government.

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