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Brussels Airlines staff fear major restructuring

21:01 05/02/2018

Staff at Brussels Airlines will find out later this week what their future holds, amid reports that parent company Lufthansa is considering merging the Belgian operation with its low-cost subsidiary Eurowings.

Brussels Airlines chief executive Bernard Gustin and chief financial officer Jan De Raeymaeker were fired on Monday as they opposed Lufthansa's large-scale restructuring plans for the airline.

An extraordinary meeting between management and union reps was held at Brussels Airlines HQ in Diegem on Monday, but more details are likely to emerge at a second meeting at 8.00 on Wednesday, in the presence of Eurowings boss Thorsten Dirks. Staff have not ruled out strike action depending on the meeting's outcome.

Etienne Davignon, who chairs the airline's board, said there would be no mass job cuts and that the Brussels Airlines brand would survive.

One option reportedly being considered is that short-haul EU flights carry the Eurowings name, while Brussels Airlines continues the long-haul services.

Brussels Airlines has 3,500 staff and operates 300 flights a day to more than 90 destinations. Lufthansa took full control of the airline in 2016.