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Brussels Air Chief Sees Turnaround Plan on Track as Costs Cut

Brussels Airlines NV Chief Executive Officer Bernard Gustin said cost cuts will enable the airline to reduce losses this year by about 66 precent.

First-quarter costs, excluding fuel, were 10 to 15 percent below the prior year’s level, Gustin said in an interview at the CAPA Centre for Aviation conference. While cost reductions met goals, revenue growth was more of a challenge, he said.

Brussels Air, which is 45-percent owned by Deutsche Lufthansa AG, embarked on a restructuring plan after posting a 60.7 million-euro ($79.7 million) net loss last year. The airline aims to trim its loss to 20 million euros this year before delivering a profit next year. Efforts to improve profitability have included reducing pilot flight time during the winter season.

“What we have seen so far is we are on plan,” Gustin said. “Our performance so far was much better than last year.”

Brussels Air’s European network, which was largely responsible for last year’s losses, has shown signs of recovery, Gustin said.

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