Brussels Airlines unions: “We are ready to fight for the survival of the Brussels Airlines brand!”

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© Edwin Vanoverschelde

The unions at Brussels Airlines are ready to fight for the survival of the Brussels Airlines brand. The unions threaten with a strike if the dismissal of CEO Bernard Gustin and CFO Jan De Raeymaeker is confirmed at the SN Airholding board of directors meeting this Monday at 13:00 in Frankfurt.

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Brussels Airlines CEO Bernard Gustin (centre) and CFO Jan De Raeymaeker (right) © André Orban

The unions fear that the dismissals are the first step of a major restructuring, and ultimately the disappearance of the brand Brussels Airlines. “We have agreed with the unions that we will develop an action plan based on what is announced on Monday,” Filip Lemberechts of liberal trade union ACLVB/CGSLB told Belgian press agency Belga.

On Sunday evening, financial newspapers De Tijd and L’Echo reported that fifty Belgian CEOs signed an open letter against the plans of the German airline Lufthansa to strip Brussels Airlines and to ask for Brussels Airlines to remain a strong airline with good worldwide connections in the capital of Europe. (Paid subscription)

German financial newspaper Handelsblatt has another view on the situation: according to information from Lufthansa circles, Brussels Airlines was the only airline within the Lufthansa group (Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa, SWISS) that submitted poor financial figures for 2017, while last year was a positive year for the entire aviation industry.

Another German source told press agency Reuters: “If you want to improve Brussels Airlines, it can only work with a new management.

Last December, CEO Gustin had indicated that he wanted to cut costs by 15 percent by year-end.

Lufthansa declined to comment.

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