Sobelair, Sabena's former charter subsidiary, has been sold by Sabena's receiver to Belgian World Airlines for €22 million ($19 million), €17 million of which will cover Sobelair's outstanding debts.

Belgian World Airlines is an aviation consultancy owned by business tycoon Aldo Vastapane, who also owns stakes in Sabena successor SN Brussels Airlines and Brussels International Airport Company.

Vastapane has applied two conditions to the purchase. First, Sobelair must get a better deal from the lessors for two Boeing 737-300s, which are believed to cost it $600,000 a month. Vastapane wants to see this cut to $300,000.

Pilots and management will also have to accept a 25% salary cut, although he intends to maintain the Sobelair brand and take on all 370 Sobelair employees. A late demand by one union to postpone the sale and wait for a new bid from a prospective buyer was turned down by the receiver as "the deadline has expired and no new offers have been received".

Source: Flight International