BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Brussels Airlines, a Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) subsidiary, will receive state aid, its president Etienne Davignon told Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique as airlines around the world face their biggest peacetime crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The principle is now established that we will benefit from state aid,” Davignon told La Libre Belgique.
A Brussels Airlines spokeswoman declined to comment.
Lufthansa’s CEO Carsten Spohr said on April 8 the company would seek state aid in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Austria because of the extended period of the crisis, adding he was optimistic talks would lead to positive results.
Davignon said the aviation sector is recognised as strategic for the Belgian economy, justifying the aid. A nationalisation of the Belgian carrier would “make no sense,” he said.
Brussels Airlines said earlier in the week it suspended its flights until at least May 15 because of “low to no demand”, due to travel restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
Reporting by Marine Strauss. Editing by Jane Merriman
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