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Friday, 9 November, 2001, 17:41 GMT
Sabena's successor secures crucial loan
Sabena employees hold candles
The new airline hopes to employ 2,000 former Sabena workers
The new Belgian airline being created from parts of the failed Sabena enterprise will be allowed to use a 125m euro (76.6m; $111.6m) loan from the country's government.

The European Commission (EC) said the Belgian authorities could transfer the bridging loan, which was originally intended to keep Sabena going.

The money is seen as vital if attempts to create a new airline are to succeed.

The new company is to be built around Sabena's regional carrier Delta Air Transport (DAT) and hopes to employ about 2,000 of Sabena's 12,000 workforce.

It will be based in Brussels and, unlike Sabena, will be independent of the government.

The airline is being financed by Belgian banks, industrial groups and regional investment corporations.

Loan transfer

Sabena, the 78-year-old national airline, filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday after it failed to find new investors.

The EC had already approved the 125m euro loan last month, when the government was trying to rescue Sabena.

A Commission spokesman said Transport Commissioner Loyola de Palacio had approved the switch to the new company because Sabena had not spent the money.

Under EU rules, a loan which has already been approved by Brussels can be transferred from the parent company to any of its subsidiaries, the spokesman said.

See also:

07 Nov 01 | Business
Belgium creates new airline
07 Nov 01 | Business
Belgian national airline bankrupt
01 Nov 01 | Business
Swissair rescue hopes brighten
17 Oct 01 | Business
Europe says no to airline aid
07 Nov 01 | Business
Sabena: From pioneer to failure
12 Oct 01 | Business
Round-up: Aviation in crisis
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