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

Contact us
Wencke Lemmes-Pireaux For media requests only
About Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines is the home carrier of Belgium and one of the four network airlines of the Lufthansa Group. It connects the European capital from Brussels Airport with over 85 destinations, 17 of which are in Sub Saharan Africa. The company employs 3,100 people and operates 41 aircraft.

Brussels Airlines aims to emit 50% less CO2 by 2030 compared to 2019 and plans to be carbon neutral by 2050. The airline is participating in the Stargate Project led by Brussels Airport and is therefore part of the testing ground for sustainable aviation at its home base. In addition, the airline signed the Circular Economy agreement of the Antwerp Management School in 2021. In 2023, Brussels Airlines welcomes three state-of-the-art Airbus A320neo allowing the airline to significantly lower its CO2- and noise-emissions on its medium-haul network. Next to that, the airline aims to operate its first flight using Sustainable Aviation fuel (SAF) by 2023.

As an ambassador of its country, Brussels Airlines brings the world to Belgium and the best of Belgium to the world, among others through collaborations with Belgian Star Chefs, Belgian culinary products and the  Belgian Icons, specially painted aircraft that honor a Belgian iconic person, team or event to promote Belgian culture worldwide.

More information on brusselsairlines.com 

Brussels Airlines
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