Brussels Airlines (SN, Brussels National) will accelerate its restructuring efforts under the Reboot Plus moniker, which will now be 90% complete by the end of the year, it said in a statement on November 5. This entails a 30% reduction in the fleet and a 25% smaller workforce.

Belgium’s national carrier will boost Reboot, which was initially launched in the third quarter of 2019, through “various short-term and long-term measures” in order to cut both variable and fixed costs to counter the effects of the coronavirus crisis. The turnaround scheme, which the carrier claimed had been “agreed with social partners and is in full implementation,” will “create the basis for a sustainable future for the company.”

The airline’s staff numbers had “already dropped by 14% compared to 2019” as of the end of September, the statement elaborated, but due to the volatile and unpredictable situation worldwide it could not make any workforce forecasts for 2020 as a whole.

The plan will enable the carrier “to start 2021 as a leaner Brussels Airlines,” CEO Dieter Vranckx promised. “On the commercial side, contrary to many European competitors, we will continue our strict capacity management to ensure cash-positive operations.”

He added: “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.”

The announcement came as Brussels Airlines revealed that it sustained a loss of EUR233 million euros (USD275 million) in the first nine months of 2020, on revenues down 70% year-on-year over the period to EUR339 million (USD400 million).

The summer months were stronger than anticipated, the airline said, but due to rapidly changing travel restrictions since then it has had to adapt capacity to match slowing market demand. Because it had done so, it claimed, it was able to “maintain cash-positive flight operations every week since its restart on June 15.”

Just over half of Brussels Airlines’ fleet of nineteen A319-100s, sixteen A320-200s, and twelve A330-300s are currently active, according to the ch-aviation fleets module, with the ch-aviation capacities module showing that 26 routes are operational, 12 of them to the carrier’s destinations in Africa.