Air Belgium fights for survival

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Air Belgium vecht voor overleving

Air Belgium is in serious need of money.

The low-cost airline Air Belgium, which flies from Charleroi, has an urgent extra revenue from charter flights is required. Otherwise, the company is in need of money and threatens the end.

The financial situation of Air Belgium is today the theme at a special meeting of the shareholders of the airline. The net assets of the company is below half …

The financial situation of Air Belgium is today the theme at a special meeting of the shareholders of the airline. The net assets of the company is below half of the capital failed. That counts as an alarm in the business community.

The bet of the meeting is, nothing more or less, the survival of the company, reports the Walloon newspaper L’avenir.

If Air Belgium the towel throws, that would be the second Belgian airline company that this year will disappear, after VLM (that is, from Antwerp to London flew).

Who is at the table?

Air Belgium vecht voor overleving

Photo: belga

Air Belgium is in the hands of a motley group of investors. On the Belgian side it goes to the federal investment company sfpi / FPIM and its Walloon counterpart, SRIW (each with 12.5 percent of shares), the company Sabena Aerospace (5,01%) and 3T, the company of the ceo, Niky Terzakis (19,99%).

The Belgians have in that way more than half of the shares in the hands, what was needed to make a Belgian flying licence to obtain. The rest is in the hands of unknown Asian investors.

That Asian input is logical. Air Belgium founded his arrows initially entirely on the exploitation of lowcostvluchten between Charleroi and hong Kong. With a cost for a return ticket from 449 euros profiled Air Belgium as a real prijsbreker.

What went wrong in China?

At the beginning of June went to the flights to hong Kong from the start, and the ambitions stretched straight ahead. Said ceo Terzakis of three to four other destinations in China, such as Wuhan or Zhengzhou. That would be on an annual basis up to 500,000 passengers must yield.

That dream came less than four months later, at the end of september, all of a abrupt end. The Chinese business partner of Air Belgium, the tour operator U-Tour, was not able to make the promised passenger numbers to deliver. The scheduled flight to hong Kong was ‘temporarily suspended’.

How should it proceed?

Since then, Air Belgium to survive through in behalf of other airlines for charter flights to carry out, such as Tui or Surinam Airways, and by two Airbus aircraft to rent to British Airways and Air France.

But that leaves too little revenue to personnel to carry. If there is no additional income from charteropdrachten recover, threatening the company by cashvoorraad to hit and is nearing the end.

In the short term, an additional capital injection offer a solution. But that only makes sense if ceo Terzakis perspective may offer a second (and this time successful) edition of his Chinese adventure.

That seems doubtful, but is, nevertheless, not excluded. Wednesday endorsed Air Belgium a cooperation agreement with the Chinese state-owned company HNCA, in the slipstream of the visit of the Chinese prime minister Li Keqiang to Brussels. HNCA is in the region of Zhengzhou active in the aerospace industry. Details about the agreement are not known.

Two prijsbrekers bankrupt

Hopefully it’s not a bad omen for Air Belgium, but this morning it became known that the curtain has fallen on the Cypriot low-cost airline Called Air. That last night in all his activities “indefinitely suspended”.

Last year, Cobalt Air with flights between Larnaca, Cyprus and Brussels Airport at Zaventem airport, but that route was no longer active.

At the beginning of October, there was also bad news when the Scandinavian budgetvlieger Primera Air bankruptcy was declared.

Primera Air had planned in 2019 direct flights on offer from Brussels to American cities such as Boston, New York and Washington. A single flight would be from 149 euros to be offered. Experts called the announcement ‘a little realistic’.