Nivelles Commercial Court, south of Brussels, has approved the request of Air Belgium (KF, Brussels Charleroi) to initiate judicial restructuring, the newspapers La Libre Belgique and L'Echo reported on the evening of September 25. The airline, headquartered in nearby Mont-Saint-Guibert, now has four months, until January 22, to submit its new business plan.

“For now, our activities are protected and your jobs are preserved,” Niky Terzakis, Air Belgium’s chief executive and accountable manager, declared in a message addressed to the approximately 500 employees.

Last week, the carrier announced it would end its “chronically unprofitable” passenger flights from October 3, affecting around 11,000 passengers, and seek protection from creditors through court-led restructuring (Procédure de Réorganisation Judiciaire - PRJ). It intends instead to focus exclusively on cargo and ACMI operations.

Air Belgium sustained a loss of more than EUR44 million euros (USD46.5 million) in 2022, making cumulative losses since the start of operations in 2016 around EUR91.6 million (USD97 million) and giving the company negative equity by the end of last year of EUR41 million (USD43.4 million). Earlier this week, L'Echo reported citing sources that it had “two to three months of liquidity” remaining.

It was also reported last week that Chinese state-owned Sichuan Airlines Group, the parent company of regional carrier Sichuan Airlines (3U, Chengdu Shuangliu), was ready to invest in Air Belgium.

In his message to employees Terzakis attacked local media, saying as quoted by La Libre Belgique, but without naming specific examples: “Once again, I reiterate what has already been said countless times. Be careful, the media write all sorts of articles, most of which are politically motivated, and some of which are incorrect. The best and only correct information is what the company provides you.”