Inquirer wrote: ↑11 Apr 2020, 21:50
Seems like the lockdown is well respected, going by the many posts on such a beautiful day!
Anyway, reading through all of it, I find this to be a very weird discussion, since the only question that matters is really simple: Do you think it a strategic advantage for our country's economy (and the much needed recovery of it post-Corona) to have an operative network airlines, based at BRU?
If the answer is yes, then given the rather unique situation at hands, the obvious best way to have one ready for take-off the very day it is possible once again, is to make sure Brussels Airlines is sufficiently funded.
Setting up a new company from complete scratch, growing an existing one into a valuable replacement of any sort, seducing foreign airlines to expand their operations massively here at BRU or just waiting for a god's gift to magically arrive from abroad and do us all in Belgium a huge favour is going to be a very time consuming and a much much more expensive alternative, let that be crystal clear.
Of course, it you don't think having a seizable aviation sector is of any meaningful importance to our country's economy and its hopefully swift recovery, then you don't have to bother about any strategic scenario at all indeed and you can just concentrate on highly parochial measures for horeca and hair dressers, accepting that tens of thousands of jobs supported by the typical home based activity at the airport will happily be taken over by our neigbouring countries as their national airlines will immediately drain the Belgian market and leave just the point-to-point passengers to the foreign low costs airlines which are found to support only 1/4th of the number of indirect jobs a Belgian airline supports according to the NBB, not to mention that it will be hugely more difficult for our country to attract future inward investment if huge multinationals and small international companies alike find out that the stream of visitors to their premisses in Belgium need to sit in a car, train or plane for at least 1 to 2 extra hours just to reach their sites there, compared to just picking say AMS as their location.
Bye bye many of the meeting and convention centres, hotels, taxi drivers, HQs and all that go with it (office lease, maintenance, cleaning etc etc). It's basically turning a very meaningful European and even global business, lobbying and network centre which Brussels is today, into a provincial city like Bratislava.
Got to be some smart economist to advocate policies which kickstart such a degrading moves indeed, all to save a couple of hundred millions, if I may say so?
But for sure, some people have such unshakeable beliefs in their life-long ideology centered around the purest of free market mechanisms, that they will defend any dogmatic application of it, even when the free market itself is effectively known to be broken (like it it today, as admitted by the EC!).
Don't get me wrong: I'm not advocating just giving away taxpayers money without any guarantees or preconditions whatsoever, but as was mentioned quite a few times before, there are several ways in which you can make sure this is actually turned into potentially one of the best government investments during this crisis. Remember the Fortis case for instance: that turned out to be a brilliant deal in the end!
Besides, if it is all about direct ROI rather than also indirect ROI (which much of the immediate business case is all about, I admit) then I fear to break the news that there have so far been several hundreds of millions of taxpayers money which have litterally been thrown out of the doors and windows without any thinking nor ROI at all, already! One prime exemple is the 202 euro premium to each unemployed person in Flanders to cover the cost of water, gas and electricity for this month, a completely stupid and at present still very often unneeded measure which alone costs us close to 150million! Estimated return of this political santaclaus idea for society, both directly as well as indirectly on jobs, tax income, safeguarding of social security contributions or other benefits to society: absolutely guaranteed ZERO.