Belgian flag-carrier Sabena is cutting routes and plans to sell assets including widebody aircraft in a bid to reduce anticipated net losses for the current year of BFr7.7 billion ($165 million). The measures seek to address what Sabena chief executive Christoph Müller describes as a "threatening" financial situation.

Direct long-haul services to Johannesburg and New York Newark have been cancelled so the airline can sell two aircraft, probably Airbus A340s or A330s. Two other A340s are already up for sale. Sabena will restructure with up to 500 job losses, many activities being outsourced. Also under scrutiny is Sabena's wet-lease of two City Bird Boeing MD-11s.

Müller hopes the changes will save BFr14.4 billion by next year. Sabena attributes its situation to high fuel prices, the dollar exchange rate and falling yields.

Source: Flight International