Air Belgium (KF, Brussels Charleroi) has received a EUR1.9 million euro (USD2.1 million) cash injection from Sogepa, the Walloon region's management and investment company, in exchange for shares in the airline, according to a report in L'Echo. The investment is being carried out via a capital increase and is "in accordance with its refinancing plan", insists Sogepa.

The first piece of funding consists of a transfer of EUR687,670 (USD765,097) in debt from Air Belgium to Sogepa, which will then be converted into shares in the carrier. Last summer, the company detailed that it wished to convert a EUR4 million (USD4.45 million) loan to Air Belgium into capital, and this latest debt transfer is consistent with its plan.

The second tranche of EUR 1.25 million (USD1.39 million) was released by Sogepa "in cash", in exchange for newly issued shares.

"The recent recapitalisation operation of Air Belgium does not result from a new injection of capital, but from the exercise of an existing right within the framework of a first refinancing, in accordance with the initial agreements. This operation is part in a global investment with the other shareholders," Sogepa confirmed to the newspaper.

The confidence shown by the investment company comes after the first financial results of Air Belgium's 2x weekly services to Fort de France and Pointe à Pitre from Brussels Charleroi, which were deemed satisfactory and Sogema assessed that it was therefore worth investing directly as a shareholder, Air Belgium Chief Executive Niky Terzakis told L'Echo. Following these positive results, the funding deals were signed in mid-December.

Air Belgium lost EUR18 million (USD20 million) in 2018 following the failure of its now-defunct route to Hong Kong Int'l. Since then it has changed its business strategy to one which concentrates on using its four A340-300(E)s on wet-lease agreements.

Although contracted to provide two of its A340-300(E)s, currently three of Air Belgium's aircraft - namely OO-ABA (msn 835), OO-ABD (msn 921) and OO-ABE (msn 938) - are flying for LOT Polish Airlines (LO, Warsaw Chopin) on its routes from Warsaw Chopin to New York JFK, Chicago O'Hare and Toronto Pearson, according to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module. The Polish carrier is using the three aircraft to cope with a reduction in its B787-8 and B787-9 capacity due to ongoing engine problems with the global fleet. It has also recently extended Air Belgium's contract until October 2020, and said it will use the aircraft to help it launch its new service to Washington Dulles on June 2, 2020.