As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Brussels Airlines reports an adjusted EBIT result of EUR -233 million in the first nine months of the year

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Brussels Airlines reports an adjusted EBIT result of EUR -233 million in the first nine months of the year

In the first three quarters of the year, Brussels Airlines recorded a loss of EUR 233 million, due to the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus on travel demand. Revenue fell by 70% to EUR 339 million compared to last year. Brussels Airlines transported 73% fewer passengers between January and September and the seat load factor dropped by 11.4 percentage points to 70.6%. Next to the structural review of its overall cost position, Brussels Airlines accelerates the implementation of its restructuring programme Reboot Plus through various short- and long term measures to reduce variable and fixed costs to counter the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

The coronavirus has a dramatic impact on aviation worldwide. Brussels Airlines adjusted its flight schedule to the collapsed travel demand and the different travel restrictions, leading to a twelve-week flight suspension in spring and a reduced flight schedule during summer. The airline resumed its flight operations to Africa in July, re-establishing the important travel link between Europe and the African continent.

After the restart in June, the summer months were stronger than anticipated, with leisure demand picking up. This led to an increased offer to touristic destinations in July and August. Due to the rapidly changing travel restrictions and demand, however, Brussels Airlines needed to adapt its flight capacity in the most flexible way after the summer, to make sure that the capacity offered is as close as possible to the market demand in order to safeguard its cash position. Thanks to this very proactive and restrictive capacity management, Brussels Airlines was able to maintain cash-positive flight operations every week since its restart on 15 June.

As a result of the collapse of demand and capacity, the airline reports an Adjusted EBIT of EUR -233 million for the first nine months of the financial year (previous year: EUR 1 million). The EBIT reached EUR -256 million (previous year: EUR 0 million). The difference with the Adjusted EBIT stems mainly from write-downs of EUR 23 million on right-of-use assets for two Airbus A330-200 and eight Airbus A319 for the necessary fleet resizing.

Revenues were down by 70%, from EUR 1.137 million to EUR 339 million. Brussels Airlines transported 2,107,954 passengers between January and September, compared to 7,905,953 last year (-73%). 18,757 flights have been operated, a 70% decline compared to the 62,683 flights in the first three quarters of 2019. The seat load factor dropped 11.4 percentage points from 82% to 70.6%. Operating expenses decreased by 49% to EUR 607 million, primarily due to the volume-related decline in the cost of materials and services.

The coronavirus outbreak urged Brussels Airlines to intensify and accelerate its existing turnaround programme, which was launched in the third quarter of 2019 and which will now be implemented for 90% by the end of 2020. Following the adaptation of its network, the new plan Reboot Plus will reduce the fleet by 30% and the workforce by 25%. The turnaround programme, which has been agreed upon with the social partners and is in full implementation, will create the basis for a sustainable future for the company. At the end of September 2020, the number of employees already dropped by 14% compared to 2019.

Due to the still volatile and highly unpredictable situation worldwide, it is not possible to make any forecast for 2020 as a whole.

“We continue to focus on the timely implementation of our Reboot Plus plan in 2020, in order to start 2021 as a leaner Brussels Airlines. On the commercial side, contrary to many European competitors, we will continue our strict capacity management to ensure cash-positive operations. As travel restrictions, quarantines and complexity continue to put a heavy burden on travel demand, we plead for a Europe-wide approach for travel regulations in combination with a comprehensive quick testing approach as part of the travel journey. As a first step in this direction, we are working on trials with rapid COVID-19 antigen tests soon on specific flights.”

Dieter Vranckx, CEO Brussels Airlines

 

Brussels Airlines               

 

 

Jan-Sep 20

Jan-Sep 2019

Change
in %

Revenue

€m

339

1,137

-70

Operating expenses

€m

607

1,196

-49

Adjusted EBITDA

€m

-141

104

 

Adjusted EBIT

€m

-233

1

 

EBIT

€m

-256

 

Employees as of 30.09

number

3,304

3,860

-14

Flights

number

18,757

62,585

-70

Passengers

thousands

2,108

7,906

-73

Available Seat-kilometres

millions

5,280

17,015

-69

Revenue Seat Kilometres

millions

3,729

13,956

-73

Passenger Load Factor

%

70.6

82.0

-11.4 pts

 

If you have any questions about these results, Brussels Airlines CEO Dieter Vranckx and CFO Nina Oewerdieck will be available during a Zoom session at 12h30 this afternoon.

Click here at 12h30 to follow the Zoom meeting from a computer.

Use passcode: 648770

To dial in by phone, call +32 2 788 0173

Meeting ID: 874 8342 5023

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About Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines is Belgium's national airline, connecting the capital of Europe to more than 70 destinations, whereof 15 in Africa, the continent that Brussels Airlines carries closes to its heart. Moreover, Brussels Airlines offers 54 destinations in Europe and 2 in North America. The company employs 3,300 employees and operates 38 aircraft.

In view of the global coronavirus pandemic, Brussels Airlines has committed itself to the strictest health safety measures in aviation worldwide, following the recommendations of EASA (European Air Safety Agency). Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Belgian airline operates an adapted flight schedule that is based on market demand and that takes into account the travel restrictions of the different authorities.

Thanks to its no-compromise positioning, Brussels Airlines combines competitive all-flexible fares with  the highest service quality. With yearly changing Belgian Star Chefs, its wide offer of Belgian food and drinks and the six Belgian Icons, Brussels Airlines is acting as a real ambassador of its country, bringing the world to Belgium and the best of Belgium to the world.

Creating over 40.000 direct and indirect jobs, Brussels Airlines plays an important role in the Belgian economy and is part of Belgium's second largest economic engine: its hub at Brussels Airport. In 2019, the airline transported over 10 million passengers to, from and via Brussels Airport.

Brussels Airlines offers cargo capacity on all its flights, commercialized by Lufthansa Cargo. The airline also handles the daily maintenance of its aircraft fleet.

Brussels Airlines is one of the four Lufthansa Group network airlines (Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa and Swiss) and member of Star Alliance. The company was founded in 2002 and is 100% owned by Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

More information on brusselsairlines.com 

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