Air Belgium (KF, Brussels Charleroi) has been given another four months to reach an agreement with its creditors under its process of court-led restructuring (Procédure de Réorganisation Judiciaire - PRJ), the company said in an internal document to its employees seen by local media.

When Nivelles Commercial Court near Brussels approved Air Belgium’s request to initiate judicial restructuring last September, it gave the airline four months, until January 22, to submit a new business plan. Creditors, including 11,000 passengers awaiting refunds, must now wait until May 13 for news on any redress.

“We are progressing well under [the PRJ] but we need to continue,” said the document dated early January, adding that it had concluded agreements with a majority of creditors and had so far managed to reduce its debt by EUR3 million euros (USD3.3 million).

The four-month extension will allow it to “negotiate and finalise with the remaining creditors and make progress with potential investors” who are waiting for a more alluring balance sheet. It was reported in September that Chinese state-owned Sichuan Airlines Group, parent of regional carrier Sichuan Airlines (3U, Chengdu Shuangliu), was ready to invest in Air Belgium.

Since October 3, Air Belgium has concentrated on cargo and ACMI, for example leasing its two A330-200s to SriLankan Airlines (UL, Colombo International) since the beginning of the year and one of its two A330-900Ns to LOT Polish Airlines (LO, Warsaw Chopin), the ch-aviation fleets module shows. The other -900 has been in maintenance since last August. These four A330s make up its current passenger fleet, its other aircraft being two A330-200(P2F)s and three B747-8(F)s.

However, sources told the French-language news site L-Post that the carrier was considering retiring its two Airbus A330neo jets due to an alleged design defect in the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 turbofan engines.

Air Belgium did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ch-aviation.

A Rolls-Royce spokesperson told ch-aviation: “As far as we are aware this is not an engine issue. The Trent 7000 engines on these aircraft have performed well and have delivered industry-leading levels of reliability and availability during the time they have been operated by the airline. Air Belgium remains a valued customer.”