Best-known Belgian charter airline goes bust
19 January 2004
BRUSSELS – Belgium’s best-known charter airline Sobelair was declared bankrupt on Monday by the commerical court in Brussels.
The court ruled that the loss-making company could not be kept afloat with further injections of capital, arguing bankruptcy offered the best guarantees for the firm’s creditors.
Immediately after the ruling Sobelair cancelled all of its flights, leaving around 1,400 angry passengers stranded at Zaventem international airport, north east of Brussels.
Sobelair was originally set up as a subsidiary of Sabena, Belgium’s former national airline, which itself went bust in 2001.
The charter firm is a household name in Belgium, where countless thousands of families have used its holiday flights over the years.
The firm employed around 480 people, most of whom have been on strike since Sunday night in antipation of Monday;s court ruling. It had a fleet of 12 aircraft.
Sobelair had been in financial difficulties for months.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Belgian news