Brussels Airlines in 2020

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cathay belgium
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Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by cathay belgium »

Hi,

Can't wait to fly to Buzzium and Wizzia ! 😂

CXB
New types flown 2020 : A321neo,B781
New types planned : E140

BigJets
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Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by BigJets »

737MAX wrote:
16 May 2020, 20:22

Captain BASIC salary at KLM: 11000€ before tax
Captain TOP salary intended by management after Covid at SN: 5000€ BEFORE!!! tax

Oh yes, retirement age in Belgium = 65
KLM? Full retirement at 60 (when they do not force you earlier out with plenty of money - and when it's the case, they work as freelancers for belgian airlines with huge salaries as well.........).

I agree, not everything is about money. I forgot to mention you'd work much more at SN than at KLM.

Are belgians that worthless?
Plenty of forum members here want a legacy carrier, with a huge network and why not brand new planes paid by LH, but you guys want staff members to work for peanuts?

Belgian managements could take a page from their book :idea:

Can you give me one single reason why these differences between SN & other carriers around Belgium would be acceptable?

Think twice before posting anti-union & staff posts like this, you do not live in their world and you really, really do not know what it all means.
I totally agree with you 737MAX. When Sabena was still around the government and public opinion were saying that staff salaries were too high, “let Sabena go bankrupt and let’s start over” they said, and that’s what happened, even though salaries at Sabena were already less than other surrounding countries.
When SN Brussels Airlines started up people were fighting to get a job. There were hundreds of jobs available with the new airline with thousands of applicants. The salaries were ridiculously low but it was take it or leave it. So many people, just to have work, accepted it (if they didn’t someone else would be there to take their place).
Today it seems that history is repeating itself. Didn’t anyone learn anything from the past? Don't they know how difficult it is to start over, not to mention what the demise of Sabena really cost the taxpayer (loss of income, unemployment, you name it…)? Almost 20 years later and Brussels Airlines still does not have the fleet and network that Sabena had. Brussels has fallen decades behind the competition and now they want to reduce it even more?
When times go bad and the company is loosing money, an airline will look for the easy way (and one of the only ways) to save money: its employees. But, is it really the only option in Belgium?
737MAX is absolutely right: KLM captain 11,000€, SN captain 5,000€ before taxes. In the case of Brussels Airlines the employees are already some of the lowest paid in the western world, how much more can you squeeze out of them, especially since Brussels Airlines is already a, so called, slimmed down lower wage airline after Sabena?
It’s too easy to (always) blame the employees for everything because it draws away the attention from the real problem. I often read on forums how airlines in Belgium are always loosing money. I see how the comparison is made with this airline or that airline. How can you compare? In reality, airlines in Belgium are NOT loosing money, they are very efficient, can be very profitable and successful. It is the Belgian government that is running away with all the profits in the form of extremely high social contributions. Can you think of any other expense an airline in Belgium has that is more than other surrounding major carriers? Everyone talks about this as if it was nothing but this is the real fundamental reason for the failure of airlines in Belgium! Belgium with it’s central location has everything it needs to succeed but still, it isn’t. When a Belgian airline wants to open a new destination, especially on long haul, they will do everything possible to avoid competition, why is that? Brussels Airlines might receive 390mil. Euro and then they have to say thank you to the government, the ones who have been “taking” the profits from them in the first place? If you want to compare Belgian airlines to other airlines then it should be done at a fair level, everyone with the same expenses (including the same landing fees in each carrier's home country). Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t Air France have a special statute for it’s cockpit and cabin crew where the airline pays much less social contributions because they consider their crews not to be working on French territory?
These are different times that call for drastic measures. If the Belgian government is really serious about helping Brussels Airlines then once and for all they must lower it’s social expenses, give the airline the necessary tools for it to grow as it should, that would create even jobs (and more contributions) in the long run. Profit margins with airlines are some of the smallest of any business and aviation's economic contribution is of the utmost importance yet until now the Belgian government sits by and does nothing.
They should not ask more from it's employees, that’s too easy. Take away their buying power and it too will be devastating for the economy. It’s a vicious circle.
Of course if all that profit would go directly into Lufthansa’s pockets without growth and progress at Brussels Airlines then all that effort would be for nothing. Negotiating is important. Let the Belgian government take Brussels Airlines away from Lufthansa and take matters in it’s own hands. At least for now.
Wishful thinking or something worth thinking about?

Poiu
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Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by Poiu »

BigJets wrote:
18 May 2020, 09:09
Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t Air France have a special statute for it’s cockpit and cabin crew where the airline pays much less social contributions because they consider their crews not to be working on French territory?
You couldn’t be more wrong! Social contributions in France are a lot higher than in Belgium, around 30% for employees and 40% for employers. Part of the social contributions are not even deductible from the gross income, so pilots pay 45% tax on part of the social contributions.
And before anyone brings up that other myth again: there is no special tax regime for aircrew in France.

Poiu
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Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by Poiu »

Ansett wrote:
18 May 2020, 11:01
On that part of BigJets' post, you have got a point. But I remember that in the last years of sabena's life, it was considered to delocate pilots to Luxembourg (to save on taxes and social contributions, I presume)
That trick doesn’t work anymore, since 2012 social contributions have to be paid in the country where the crew member is based. (A very limited number have highly restricted grandfather rights till 2022)

BigJets
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Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by BigJets »

Ansett wrote:
18 May 2020, 10:22
Very well said ! Fully agree !!! 👍
Thanks Ansett

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b.lufthansa
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Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by b.lufthansa »

Brussels Airlines's plan is to reduce the total amount of early morning arrivals into Brussels (the so-called nightstop-reduction), and to let its African fleet depart later.

In my opinion, this is NEVER going to work.

I remember that Brussels Airlines tried this in the past, e.g. very early outbound flights into Europe to be able to return between 9 and 10. The return flight might be full but the outbound flights were never but full.

Or the airline opts for a low-cost approach alla Ryanair, or it goes for a standard morning hub effect to feed its long-haul network and a network-going-out into Europe after the arrival of long-haul.

The promise of Miami, Newark, Boston and A321 long range aircraft is a way to soften the negotiations but these can't never be made.

BigJets
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Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by BigJets »

737MAX wrote:
18 May 2020, 10:45

Fully agree as well. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening anytime soon...
On the contrary. I'm afraid Belgium is going to become even less "interesting" than before Covid :?
Yes indeed. Unfortunately it certainly looks like it won't happen anytime soon. This could be a great opportunity to think forward and plan ahead, instead of going backwards. Years from now after the startup of Brussels Airlines 23 people will still wonder why things went wrong again. What do you expect if nothing is done to change it.
Sad...

oldblueeyes
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Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by oldblueeyes »

Wouldn't be simply better to have - firt of all - a consistent business model for the company?

If you try to have a little bit of everything, you end up having nothing.

Let's see the reality - the airline was in the last 20 yeas rather a regional airline, with the AVROs as backbone of the fleet and with the 319 as low end P2P/low cost trial player and on top of this lately consolidating some leisure market.

If the company wants to be more a hub and spoke network player it will go more regional, in order to have a network. So operating cost per seat and aircraft size will be sacrificed for frequency - and the bad news is that crew costs in regional airlines are also lower than in large narrowbody players.

Or you want to be more a P2P plus "smarthub" player - basically the direction given by Eurowings ( i am talking now about the business model, not a branding discussion) - than everything would shift more straight to a smaller 320 fleet operating leisure destinations as well. But than as overall product, Brussels would have to be positioned slightly below the full network brands.

As of today, the direction seems to go towards the first idea, mainly politically driven by Belgian expectations.

The risk here will be truly the aircraft type. The 319NEO's lack of success in catching orders shows that this model is coming towards the end of its lifecycle -luckily with Corona revenation programs and orders will be postponed for a while in this market size (just see the bad news Embraer has to swallor from their flagship customer Azul on the E2, similar news from Helvetic etc), but in 6-7 years the 319 will become obsolete in terms on performance relative to the market.

BigJets
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Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by BigJets »

Poiu wrote:
18 May 2020, 10:47
You couldn’t be more wrong! Social contributions in France are a lot higher than in Belgium, around 30% for employees and 40% for employers. Part of the social contributions are not even deductible from the gross income, so pilots pay 45% tax on part of the social contributions.
And before anyone brings up that other myth again: there is no special tax regime for aircrew in France.
[/quote]

I stand corrected Poiu. Thanks for your input, I learned something.
Of course, unfortunately it doesn't change what's happening in Belgium

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sn26567
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Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by sn26567 »

Deejay wrote:
16 May 2020, 11:45
Image
Received a nice email this morning signed by CF.... with the heading above....

Good point, all the airlines are in the picture, (i had another one a few weeks ago, with only LH, LX and OS)
But why the hell this little line between the ones on the left, and the ones on the right ?

SN must become a network airline, like the other cousins...

That would be a clear brand positioning understandable for all the customers
Old slide master which must still be updated.

On the Lufthansa Group website, Brussels Airlines is at the right place:
LHGroup_tails-new.jpg
André
ex Sabena #26567

Flanker2
Posts: 1690
Joined: 05 Dec 2012, 23:15

Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by Flanker2 »

BigJets wrote:
18 May 2020, 09:09
737MAX wrote:
16 May 2020, 20:22

Captain BASIC salary at KLM: 11000€ before tax
Captain TOP salary intended by management after Covid at SN: 5000€ BEFORE!!! tax

Oh yes, retirement age in Belgium = 65
KLM? Full retirement at 60 (when they do not force you earlier out with plenty of money - and when it's the case, they work as freelancers for belgian airlines with huge salaries as well.........).

I agree, not everything is about money. I forgot to mention you'd work much more at SN than at KLM.

Are belgians that worthless?
Plenty of forum members here want a legacy carrier, with a huge network and why not brand new planes paid by LH, but you guys want staff members to work for peanuts?

Belgian managements could take a page from their book :idea:

Can you give me one single reason why these differences between SN & other carriers around Belgium would be acceptable?

Think twice before posting anti-union & staff posts like this, you do not live in their world and you really, really do not know what it all means.
I totally agree with you 737MAX. When Sabena was still around the government and public opinion were saying that staff salaries were too high, “let Sabena go bankrupt and let’s start over” they said, and that’s what happened, even though salaries at Sabena were already less than other surrounding countries.
When SN Brussels Airlines started up people were fighting to get a job. There were hundreds of jobs available with the new airline with thousands of applicants. The salaries were ridiculously low but it was take it or leave it. So many people, just to have work, accepted it (if they didn’t someone else would be there to take their place).
Today it seems that history is repeating itself. Didn’t anyone learn anything from the past? Don't they know how difficult it is to start over, not to mention what the demise of Sabena really cost the taxpayer (loss of income, unemployment, you name it…)? Almost 20 years later and Brussels Airlines still does not have the fleet and network that Sabena had. Brussels has fallen decades behind the competition and now they want to reduce it even more?
When times go bad and the company is loosing money, an airline will look for the easy way (and one of the only ways) to save money: its employees. But, is it really the only option in Belgium?
737MAX is absolutely right: KLM captain 11,000€, SN captain 5,000€ before taxes. In the case of Brussels Airlines the employees are already some of the lowest paid in the western world, how much more can you squeeze out of them, especially since Brussels Airlines is already a, so called, slimmed down lower wage airline after Sabena?
It’s too easy to (always) blame the employees for everything because it draws away the attention from the real problem. I often read on forums how airlines in Belgium are always loosing money. I see how the comparison is made with this airline or that airline. How can you compare? In reality, airlines in Belgium are NOT loosing money, they are very efficient, can be very profitable and successful. It is the Belgian government that is running away with all the profits in the form of extremely high social contributions. Can you think of any other expense an airline in Belgium has that is more than other surrounding major carriers? Everyone talks about this as if it was nothing but this is the real fundamental reason for the failure of airlines in Belgium! Belgium with it’s central location has everything it needs to succeed but still, it isn’t. When a Belgian airline wants to open a new destination, especially on long haul, they will do everything possible to avoid competition, why is that? Brussels Airlines might receive 390mil. Euro and then they have to say thank you to the government, the ones who have been “taking” the profits from them in the first place? If you want to compare Belgian airlines to other airlines then it should be done at a fair level, everyone with the same expenses (including the same landing fees in each carrier's home country). Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t Air France have a special statute for it’s cockpit and cabin crew where the airline pays much less social contributions because they consider their crews not to be working on French territory?
These are different times that call for drastic measures. If the Belgian government is really serious about helping Brussels Airlines then once and for all they must lower it’s social expenses, give the airline the necessary tools for it to grow as it should, that would create even jobs (and more contributions) in the long run. Profit margins with airlines are some of the smallest of any business and aviation's economic contribution is of the utmost importance yet until now the Belgian government sits by and does nothing.
They should not ask more from it's employees, that’s too easy. Take away their buying power and it too will be devastating for the economy. It’s a vicious circle.
Of course if all that profit would go directly into Lufthansa’s pockets without growth and progress at Brussels Airlines then all that effort would be for nothing. Negotiating is important. Let the Belgian government take Brussels Airlines away from Lufthansa and take matters in it’s own hands. At least for now.
Wishful thinking or something worth thinking about?
High social contributions are indeed a problem.
However, this is a systemic problem for all companies in Belgium and really not an exception compared to other countries.
Even Southern States like Italy have similar levels of social contributions.
I don't want to sanctify it, it's a systemic problem that needs to be fixed and perhaps even harmonised within the EU to avoid competition between states.

Social contributions are what's paying people today to stay home but also the medical cost of the Covid-19 crisis. Perhaps wasting less money in other area's can bring some relief.

However, this is less of a problem if the airline is nationalized.
The social contributions just flow back to the government, so more jobs and higher salaries are easier to sustain.



The other problem for SN are the high taxes in BRU. It's hundreds of millions in airport taxes per year for a revenue of around 1 Billion.

Again, less of a problem when BRU is partly owned by the government.


So I tink that it's pretty apparent that the government makes a lot of money through Brussels Airlines, so it doesn't hurt to reinvest it in it, as long as it's invested to keep and grow jobs, the airline, the economic well-being. So yes if LH can sign up to a 20+ fleet of long haul aircraft.
Otherwise, it's time for Belgium to take matters in its own hands.

I could also agree to a low interest loan for Ryanair, or say the Belgian State could invest an equity stake and take a 25% in a joint-venture of "Ryanair Belgium". CRL is a huge base for FR, the social impact in CRL should not be neglected and quite frankly, they benefit the taxpayer by offering or inducing low fares as a benefit.
This would enable to have a more comprehensive, fair and competitive market. i.e. Belgium against neighboring countries.
Belgium can better balance by focussing on BRU for its hub and CRL for low-cost leisure, perhaps even partnering together in BRU on routes that can provide some feed but are too leisure oriented.
Turn cut-throat competition into a partnership, and fight together against the BIG ones, making Belgium the go-to place for a fairly priced flight.

Jetter
Posts: 474
Joined: 06 Nov 2015, 21:07

Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by Jetter »

Flanker2 wrote:
18 May 2020, 12:21
High social contributions are indeed a problem.
However, this is a systemic problem for all companies in Belgium and really not an exception compared to other countries.
Even Southern States like Italy have similar levels of social contributions.
I don't want to sanctify it, it's a systemic problem that needs to be fixed and perhaps even harmonised within the EU to avoid competition between states.
You can’t harmonize tax levels if governments of some countries spend much more money than those of other countries. Because where is that money going to come from if not from taxes? Belgium is such a country where the people constantly democratically elect politicians that like to spend a lot of money. That of course has consequences for the employees’ taxes, like those of SN. It’s not fair to pretend like those social contributions are just a waste of money and should be left out when comparing wage levels: the people in Belgium pay a lot of tax but in return the government spends that money on things the citizens of Belgium -among which SN employees- want. In countries where the tax is lower employees don’t have the benefit of a government that can spend such amounts of money. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

BigJets
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Joined: 27 Mar 2005, 00:00

Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by BigJets »

Ansett wrote:
18 May 2020, 11:01
On that part of BigJets' post, you have got a point. But I remember that in the last years of sabena's life, it was considered to delocate pilots to Luxembourg (to save on taxes and social contributions, I presume). I don't know if 25 years later, that would still be advantageous (and legal)
Yes, indeed, in the Sabena days there was an attempt to save on social contributions by trying to relocate to Luxembourg. That would have been a great help. That really shows that this problem is a serious one, one that has been going on for a long time. Unfortunately, 25 years later no government in power has had the guts to do something about it. So, nothing changes and Belgian airlines continue to loose money.
As an example, If you would be paying 20% less social contributions and thanks to that Brussels Airlines would grow 300% now that would be a win win situation for everyone, wouldn't it?

Jetter
Posts: 474
Joined: 06 Nov 2015, 21:07

Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by Jetter »

BigJets wrote:
18 May 2020, 13:05
Ansett wrote:
18 May 2020, 11:01
On that part of BigJets' post, you have got a point. But I remember that in the last years of sabena's life, it was considered to delocate pilots to Luxembourg (to save on taxes and social contributions, I presume). I don't know if 25 years later, that would still be advantageous (and legal)
Yes, indeed, in the Sabena days there was an attempt to save on social contributions by trying to relocate to Luxembourg. That would have been a great help. That really shows that this problem is a serious one, one that has been going on for a long time. Unfortunately, 25 years later no government in power has had the guts to do something about it. So, nothing changes and Belgian airlines continue to loose money.
As an example, If you would be paying 20% less social contributions and thanks to that Brussels Airlines would grow 300% now that would be a win win situation for everyone, wouldn't it?
Where is the government going to spend 20% less on? Education, healthcare, pensions? All things that also benefit the same SN employees that you want to tax less. It’s way too easy to just propose huge tax cuts without saying what consequences you accept. Also the powerful unions in Belgium would not agree with enormous austerity, yet they are supported by many SN employees. If much lower taxes is what SN employees want they should turn their back on the current unions to not be hypocritical.

nordikcam
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Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by nordikcam »

b.lufthansa wrote:
18 May 2020, 11:19

The promise of Miami, Newark, Boston and A321 long range aircraft is a way to soften the negotiations but these can't never be made.
To read you, LH is making crazy promises to get money from the Belgian Government, promises planes and destinations, but you already know that these are only empty promises ... I hope someone to circulate the information to the Government. No ?

BigJets
Posts: 124
Joined: 27 Mar 2005, 00:00

Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by BigJets »

b.lufthansa wrote:
18 May 2020, 11:19
Brussels Airlines's plan is to reduce the total amount of early morning arrivals into Brussels (the so-called nightstop-reduction), and to let its African fleet depart later.

In my opinion, this is NEVER going to work.
Indeed, that is not a good idea to cancel the night stops, first of all for the businessman who wants to start his day early and most of all for the feeder flights to the long haul network. There is a saying, never change something that's good. Yes, night stops cost money but to make money you must be willing to spend money too. It takes many years to fine-tune operations so that a hub and spoke system can work and many things to consider when doing so. Changing that can prove to be a big mistake.
b.lufthansa wrote:
18 May 2020, 11:19

The promise of Miami, Newark, Boston and A321 long range aircraft is a way to soften the negotiations but these can't never be made.
It's not that it may never happen. Maybe it will but why is it that suddenly Lufthansa is announcing all sorts of growth plans for Brussels Airlines while in the past LH has never really cared? Do you think that maybe they want something?

I have nothing against Lufthansa but when they start treating their (so called) partners the way they did with Brussels Airlines then there is a problem. The decisions that are being made at(or for) Brussels Airlines, are they in the advantage of Brussels Airlines of for Lufthansa? I think we know the answer to that. Increasing flights to Frankfurt or Zurich is for feeding which network exactly? Brussels Airlines could be getting the A321XLR, not because they would like to have it (which they do) but because now there is a surplus of aircraft and that’s a way for LH to get rid of them. When you hear things like that (and there are many other examples) then it makes one realize that in the interest of Brussels Airlines, they would be better off alone. It reminds me of the days when Swissair was plundering Sabena.

Poiu
Posts: 831
Joined: 14 Nov 2015, 09:38

Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by Poiu »

BigJets wrote:
18 May 2020, 13:05

Yes, indeed, in the Sabena days there was an attempt to save on social contributions by trying to relocate to Luxembourg. That would have been a great help. That really shows that this problem is a serious one, one that has been going on for a long time. Unfortunately, 25 years later no government in power has had the guts to do something about it. So, nothing changes and Belgian airlines continue to loose money.
As an example, If you would be paying 20% less social contributions and thanks to that Brussels Airlines would grow 300% now that would be a win win situation for everyone, wouldn't it?
Your memory is letting you down BigJ, as compensation for not relocating crew there has been a significant reduction in social security for air crew in Belgium.
By memory: since 1995ish airline companies have been exempted from half of the pension contributions for crew. On top of that half of the pension contributions withheld from the salaries didn’t have to be transferred to the State but were be transferred to the airline. This ended around 2012 when the special pension system for crew came to end.
The savings for SN were around 4 million a year and they were only half their present size at that time.

Jetter
Posts: 474
Joined: 06 Nov 2015, 21:07

Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by Jetter »

BigJets wrote:
18 May 2020, 14:06
b.lufthansa wrote:
18 May 2020, 11:19
The promise of Miami, Newark, Boston and A321 long range aircraft is a way to soften the negotiations but these can't never be made.
It's not that it may never happen. Maybe it will but why is it that suddenly Lufthansa is announcing all sorts of growth plans for Brussels Airlines while in the past LH has never really cared? Do you think that maybe they want something?
It’s not that sudden, LH also said before reboot that SN can grow again when they have a good profit margin. That’s also mentioned as a criterium now. The only real difference is that LH is now more concrete about which extra destination and planes.
I have nothing against Lufthansa but when they start treating their (so called) partners the way they did with Brussels Airlines then there is a problem. The decisions that are being made at(or for) Brussels Airlines, are they in the advantage of Brussels Airlines of for Lufthansa? I think we know the answer to that. Increasing flights to Frankfurt or Zurich is for feeding which network exactly? Brussels Airlines could be getting the A321XLR, not because they would like to have it (which they do) but because now there is a surplus of aircraft and that’s a way for LH to get rid of them. When you hear things like that (and there are many other examples) then it makes one realize that in the interest of Brussels Airlines, they would be better off alone.
With the Belgian aviation policies of the last decade there was no potential of a prospering network carrier, not as part of LH and not alone.

Homo Aeroportus
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Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by Homo Aeroportus »

Does anyone know the reason for dropping Ouaga?
This service was operated on the route to ABJ as an en route stop. Saving the landing fees ok but weren't there enough Pax to cover?
AF will be given a quasi monopoly to EU, same as for BKO.

H.A.

oldblueeyes
Posts: 71
Joined: 13 Apr 2020, 12:44

Re: Brussels Airlines in 2020

Post by oldblueeyes »

You gave the answer in your question - it was not a full route, but a marginal point. And with dropped demand expected, the anticipated economics are not anymore given.

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