Belgian operator Air Belgium has filed for judicial reorganisation owing to the company’s deteriorating financial status, which will result in a concentration on B2B activities and the discontinuation of passenger operations.

It is now hoping to restructure the company and its debt in a court in Belgium.

According to the airline’s official statement, Covid-19, the Ukraine war, “soaring fuel costs”, inflation and diminishing consumer spending power are among the external issues that have worsened the company’s weak financial condition.

Passenger operations, which the airline reported are proving “chronically unprofitable to date”, will be closed, resulting in a focus on cargo and ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance, or wet leasing aircraft) activities.

However, flights planned before October 3, 2023, will operate as usual, while those scheduled after this date will be cancelled with “appropriate reimbursements” provided.

Air Belgium issued an official apology, emphasising that passenger operations will end on October 3. “Air Belgium is deeply sorry to announce the discontinuation of its passenger business at such short notice.

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“All options for maintaining this activity or continuing flights after 3 October were examined, but the financial situation did not allow this.”

The airline stated that the aim of the judicial proceedings “is to ensure the company’s long-term viability, with no impact on the legal entity under any circumstances”.

The commercial court will oversee the proceedings, with the goal of examining the matter in the next few days and allowing Air Belgium to “negotiate agreements with its creditors in order to reduce its debt”.

Indicating an unexpected shift in strategy, this statement comes on the heels of the airline’s recent interline agreements with Air Mauritius and Air Belgium’s recent expansion into southern Africa.