Belgium’s flag carrier Brussels Airlines will temporarily suspend flights from March 21, pledging to reduce operations in a “controlled and structured manner” in order to bring passengers and crews home.
The airline, owned by Lufthansa Group, expects the suspension to last until April 20. Sister carrier Austrian Airlines halted its operations on Monday as part of swingeing cuts across the German group in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“We will continuously monitor the situation and communicate accordingly, planning a restart of our operations on 20 April to welcome our guests on board again,” Brussels Airlines CEO Dieter Vranckx said.
“As a responsible company, we need to take the decision to temporarily cease our operations. It will allow us to reduce the negative financial impact on our company.”
As of March 17 the airline will gradually reduce its flight schedule until March 20. From March 21 through April 19, all flights will be suspended.
The Belgian carrier added it would continue to keep a minimal capacity on standby base for any repatriation flights should they be required.
OAG Schedules Analyser data shows Brussels Airlines was scheduled to operate 946 flights this week, with 166,479 available seats. During the same week last year, the carrier operated 1,498 flights and offered 245,518 seats.
Photo credit: Brussels Airlines