The crisis we are experiencing today is unprecedented and severely impacts the aviation industry. At some point in the future, demand for aviation will resume, even though we don’t know when and to what extent. Post-COVID aviation will be different. But we must ensure that this new aviation industry is socially responsible and more sustainable. And this requires to retain a functioning aviation sector in Belgium and to preserve jobs.
Aviation is an essential part of any national economy and Belgium, which is at the heart of Europe, will always remain an important market for aviation. It is therefore paramount to plan now to ensure operations can restart when the crisis ends.
Dismissals & bankruptcies of Belgium-based airlines must hence be avoided. They might lead to the arrival of unscrupulous operators that offer their aircrews only precarious or atypical forms of employment to avoid paying social security contributions. It would be a loss for the crews (less rights & protection) but also for the State (less income taxes & social contributions).
The Belgian State bears the responsibility to support current Belgium-based operators in order to ensure the future of aviation in Belgium. However, we insist that any type of government aid should be granted to those companies that are socially responsible and respect the principles of social dialogue.
In an open letter to Prime Minister Wilmès, the Belgian Cockpit Association, the only professional organisation representing airline pilots in Belgium, therefore urged the Belgian government to plan now for the future of aviation in Belgium and to include pilots in the discussions.
FR – Alain Vanalderweireldt (BeCA President): +32 476 93 2410
NL – Bart Smet: +32 476 42 67 18