From today's ATWOnline http://www.atwonline.com/indexfull.cfm?newsid=2090
British European said it was "forced to suspend [its twice-daily scheduled] services between Brussels and Newcastle" owing to unfair competitive pricing by SN Brussels Airlines. Privately held BE commenced service on the route last Nov. within 48 hr. of the closure of Sabena--"even extending the gesture to passengers of honoring worthless Sabena tickets for a period," according to the airline. "SN Brussels then re-entered the routes, having secured support from the Belgian government." BE's move follows British Airways' exit from the Bristol-Brussels route in May following a period of extensive losses. "Since its re-launch after the demise of Sabena, the overcapacity that SN Brussels Airlines added to British European's services on the route has produced traffic and revenue levels substantially below breakeven for both carriers--resulting in British European's withdrawal and raising the spectre of severe price hikes by SN Brussels as the monopoly provider," BE stated. "As with all cases where the market is distorted by state support, competitive operations are the first casualty with reduced choice and less frequencies. The next phase is normally higher monopoly fares. At the end of the day, the customers are worse off," said MD Jim French. The airline confirmed it has held detailed discussions with the European Commission and does not rule out any course of action, including lodging an official complaint.
Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose!