Category Archives: Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines to cut its costs by 10-15 percent as it looks back on 2017

Brussels Airlines Airbus A319-112 OO-SSN (msn 1963) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 924119.

Brussels Airlines looks back on a positive 15th Anniversary with this announcement:

Brussels Airlines comes to the end of its fifteenth anniversary. In 2017, the airline recorded growth every month of the year and highlights included the launch of Mumbai, the integration of Thomas Cook flight activities and the farewell of the AVRO aircraft.

Brussels Airlines started 2017 with an anniversary celebration on February 15, 2017. For the occasion, the airline produced an anniversary video called “We Go The Extra Smile for You Since 15 Years”, a remake of a unique marketing stunt from the airline’s early years, which reached no less than 2.4 million views.

During the anniversary year, Brussels Airlines continued its growth strategy. In spring, Mumbai, the first Brussels Airlines destination in Asia, was added to the network. The short/medium haul network expanded with Yerevan, Palma, Rhodes and Madeira.

A fleet harmonization project included the phase-out of the AVRO RJ type with 98 seats, which were replaced by larger Airbus A319/A320 aircraft with 40% and 80% more seating capacity respectively. The very last AVRO RJ left the fleet on October 28, 2017 after a Geneva flight that attracted spotters from about ten countries to Brussels Airport.

External growth was achieved thanks to the integration of Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium’s activities at the end of October. The vast majority of Thomas Cook holidaymakers now fly with Brussels Airlines. As a result, Brussels Airlines expanded its flight network with new winter sun destinations (Cape Verde, Tunisia, the Canary Islands and Egypt). The partnership will also add a series of new Mediterranean destinations, including the Greek islands, to the network next spring.

Thanks to these investments, Brussels Airlines will exceed the number of 9 million passengers in 2017 and increase its market share on the Belgian home market. This makes Brussels Airlines one of the fastest growing airlines in Europe. This growth pace will continue in 2018 and many investment projects are planned, including the extension of The Loft, the replacement of 7 Airbus A330 aircraft, the launch of new cabins on board the entire long-haul fleet and investment in further digitalization.

In other news, according to Reuters, the airline plans to cut costs by 10-15% to remain competitive:

Brussels Airlines, a unit of Lufthansa, plans to cut its costs by between 10 and 15 percent in the coming years in order to remain competitive with low-cost rivals, its chief executive told Belgian daily De Tijd.

The Belgian carrier, which Lufthansa took full control of in December 2016, has already reduced costs by 15 percent in the past three years through savings on staff and more efficient baggage and catering operations.

Bernard Gustin told De Tijd in an interview published on Saturday that cost-cutting had to continue. Passengers would pay a little more to travel with Brussels Airlines compared with a low-cost carrier, but that premium had to be kept to a minimum.

“We need to bring our costs down by at least 10-15 percent. This year already they have fallen by 5 percent,” he said.

Brussels Airlines expects to carry a record 9 million passengers in 2017 and Gustin said he was targeting an increase to 10 million in 2018.

Lufthansa has said it wants to integrate Brussels Airlines into budget platform Eurowings, although the Belgian carrier also serves business routes to Africa.

Top Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A319-112 OO-SSN (msn 1963) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 924119.

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Brussels Airlines to add Zadar and Split next summer

Brussels Airlines Airbus A319-112 OO-SSQ (msn 3790) LHR (SPA). Image: 926868.

Brussels Airlines expands its network in Croatia, one of the fastest growing holiday destinations. Next to Zagreb and Dubrovnik, the Belgian airline will now add two new destinations to its portfolio. From May 12, 2018 onwards, Zadar is connected to Brussels Airport and on April 28, 2018 the first Brussels Airlines flight to Split takes off.

Brussels Airlines will depart for Zadar every Saturday afternoon between May 12 and September 19, 2018. 
Between April 28 to October 6, 2018 Brussels Airlines flies to Split every Wednesday and Saturday. 

Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A319-112 OO-SSQ (msn 3790) LHR (SPA). Image: 926868.

Brussels Airlines bids farewell to the last AVRO jet

This weekend Brussels Airlines says goodbye to the AVRO Jet, the aircraft type with which the airline started off in 2001. On Saturday, October 28, 2017 several aviation fans flew to Geneva on the Avro’s last commercial flight for Brussels Airlines. Today, October 29, 2017, the airline’s staff bid farewell to the aircraft type that carried millions of passengers over the years, on which hundreds of its pilots and flight attendants started their careers and on which several Brussels Airlines engineers worked during its maintenance.

With the touchdown of flight SN2720 Geneva-Brussels at 1940 on October 28, 2017, Brussels Airlines ended its AVRO era. Over the past 15 years, 31.5 million Brussels Airlines passengers boarded the 4-motor aircraft type, on the 606,000 flights to 89 different destinations. The AVRO was a regular guest at airports like Bromma (Stockholm), Copenhagen, Marseille, Lyon, Geneva, Berlin, Oslo, Manchester and Berlin.

Once upon a time, Brussels Airlines’ fleet consisted of 32 AVRO jets. This weekend, the last one, registered as OO-DWD (Delta-Whiskey-Delta) (below) retires from the airline. From today onwards, Brussels Airlines’ operator license only consists of Airbus aircraft.

Type Retired: October 28, 2017 (SN2720 Geneva-Brussels with OO-DWD)

Above Copyright Photo (all others by Brussels Airlines): Brussels Airlines BAe (Avro) RJ100 (146-RJ100) OO-DWD (msn E3324) BRU (Karl Cornil). Image: 910519.

Many aviation fans and long-time Brussels Airlines customers were present on the last commercial flight. One of them even traveled all the way from the United States to Brussels only to be on the farewell flight of the AVRO. Indeed, the AVRO has become a rare aircraft in Europe. The few planes that are left only fly in Ireland, Great Britain, Sweden and Greece. Some of these served for Brussels Airlines before.

Other ex-Brussels Airlines AVRO jets started a new life on other continents. Some jets now serve as firefighting planes in the US and Canada or fly in South America and Ghana.  Others have been dismantled for spare parts and one of them now serves as practice aircraft for the Brussels Airport firefighters.

“It is with a lot of gratitude and nostalgia that we look back on the AVRO era. It was the aircraft with which Brussels Airlines as born and took its very first steps. The AVRO was an important and successful chapter in Brussels Airlines’ history, it has brought millions of passengers safe and sound to their destination and for hundreds of our crews it was a springboard for their career.

Bernard Gustin, CEO Brussels Airlines

Video:

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Brussels Airlines to add 10 new winter destinations starting on October 29

Brussels Airlines Airbus A330-301 OO-SFO (msn 045) BRU (Karl Cornil). Image: 910518.

Brussels Airlines will launch its biggest winter season expansion in its 15-year history. This winter season, which runs from October 29, 2017 until the end of March 2018, the airline serves no less than 80 destinations from Brussels Airport, including 59 short- and medium haul destinations and 21 long haul destinations. Compared to last year, the offer includes 10 newcomers. In addition, two destinations that were already served in summer, are now added to the winter schedule for the first time. In total 13,359 European flights and 1,166 intercontinental flights are on the planning this winter.

Brussels Airlines welcomes winter season with ten new destinations

European offer

The short and medium haul offer expands with several new winter sun destinations. For the first time Brussels Airlines will set sail for Cabo Verde, Tunisia and Egypt. The Canarian islands offer also grows thanks to the addition of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Tenerife will become a daily service and Gran Canaria also gets more frequencies.

Bordeaux will be served several times a week and Madeira is added to the winter schedule. Popular city trip destinations Rome, Madrid and Warsawget more flights per week.

Thanks to the use of larger aircraft the seat offer increases by 25 to 50% on several destinations: Barcelona, Billund, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Hannover, Krakow, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Porto and Rome.

New Destinations

Almeria (Spain) 1 x week
Arrecife (Lanzarote) 3 x week
Agadir (Morocco) 1 x week
Boa Vista (Cabo Verde) 2 x week
Enfidha (Tunisia) 1 x week
Fuerteventura (Canary Islands) 1 x week
Hurghada (Egypte) 2 x week
Marsa Alam (Egypte) 1 x week
Palma de Mallorca (Spain) 1 x week
Sal (Cabo Verde) 1 x week

 

Summer destinations that are now served in Winter too

Bordeaux (France) 4 x week
Funchal (Madeira) 1 x week

 

Existing destinations with more frequency

Las Palmas (Canary Islands) 4 x week (+2)
Madrid (Spain) up to 23 x week
Rome (Italy) up to 24 x week (+6)
Tenerife  (Spain) 7 x week (+5)
Warsaw 16 x week (+ 4)

Intercontinental offer

After the launch of Mumbai in spring, Brussels Airlines increases the number of weekly flights to the Indian metropolis to six. In Africa, Abidjan and Accra also get more frequencies.

Like last year, Washington D.C. is temporarily suspended during the winter. Flights resume as from March 19, 2018.

Intercontinental offer increase

Mumbai 6 x week
Abidjan 7 x week ( + 1)
Accra 5 x week (+1)

Top Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A330-301 OO-SFO (msn 045) BRU (Karl Cornil). Image: 910518.

Brussels Airlines introduces “Amare” to promote Tomorrowland

"Amare" - Brussels Airlines' 2017 Tomorrowland logo jet

Brussels Airlines made this announcement:

Amare, an ode to Tomorrowland, was welcomed on February 23, 2017 as the fourth Airbus A320 in our Belgian Icons series (following “Rackham”, “Magritte” and “Trident”).

Since 2012, Brussels Airlines and Tomorrowland have been bringing people together from around the world to Belgium. And that is exactly what Amare will continue to do. It is now on a mission to unite “the People of Tomorrow”, so as to gather fine memories and create lasting friendships.

We are one world. Like Tomorrowland, Amare means: Live Today. Love Tomorrow. Unite Forever.

“Amare” stands for unity, love and friendship.

The pictured OO-SNF will wear this special livery until 2022.

Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-SNF (msn 2810) (We fly you to the home of Tomorrowland) BRU (Karl Cornil). Image: 937091.

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Lufthansa to take over 100% of Brussels Airlines, will be joining the Eurowings Group

Brussels Airlines 2013 "Belgian Red Devils" special livery

Lufthansa has issued this statement:

  • Deutsche Lufthansa AG takes over 100 percent of SN Airholding
  • Brussels Airlines to be fully integrated into the Lufthansa Group as of 2018 and joining the Eurowings Group
  • Attractive home markets Belgium and Brussels and well-established Africa network will further strengthen the Lufthansa and Eurowings Group market position
  • Advantageous cost-structure allowing Brussels Airlines to successfully compete with the tough low-cost competition in the Belgian market

After Lufthansa and the shareholders of SN Airholding had agreed on the terms of the complete takeover, Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s Executive Board on December 14, 2016 decided to exercise the call option for the outstanding 55 percent of the shares. The call option comes into effect by December 31, 2016. The closing of the transaction will happen by the beginning of January 2017.

The price mechanism for the take-over of the remaining 55 percent of the shares had already been part of the agreement for the call option in 2008. The price for the acquisition of the remaining 55 percent of the shares is 2.6 million euros, which will be paid to a consortium of 30 shareholders.

Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG: “Following the acquisition of the 45 per cent share of SN Airholding eight years ago, we now want to take a next step in our already very solid and successful cooperation. As a longstanding shareholder and partner of Brussels Airlines, we are already closely linked to each other. Accordingly, we value Belgium and especially Brussels as highly attractive markets that perfectly complement our offer in the heart of Europe. In addition, Brussels Airlines has a competitive cost structure already and brings a well-established long-haul network, especially to and from Africa, to the Lufthansa Group portfolio. We also very much appreciate the high qualification, motivation and performance of the 3,500 Brussels Airlines employees.”

After the acquisition, Brussels Airlines will continue to operate its 23 long-haul destinations as well as 79 destinations within Europe under the umbrella of the Eurowings Group.

The brand ‘Brussels Airlines’ will be complemented by the claim “Member of the Eurowings Group”. The common goal of Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines is to further strengthen the market position in the Belgian Airline market.

The current fleet harmonization towards an Airbus A320 family fleet for the European network will be continued. With its fleet of 42 short- and medium-haul aircraft and nine A330 long-haul aircraft, Brussels Airlines has significantly increased the number of its passengers. From 2013 to 2015 only, this number has increased by 30 per cent to a total of 7.5 million passengers. In the medium term, investments are planned to further improve the fleet-efficiency and increase the capacity on the short- and long-haul network.

In the past three years, Brussels Airlines has reduced its non-fuel unit costs by almost ten per cent and established sustainably efficient structures. For the financial year 2015, the leading Belgian airline generated an operating profit of 43.4 million euros. With the full integration of Brussels Airlines, synergies are to generate up to a mid-double digit million euro contribution per year. In the short-term, integration costs may burden earnings at first.

In the future, Brussels Airlines will assume an important role in the further development of the Eurowings Group into a pan-European platform. In order to personally accompany the integration process, Carsten Spohr will join the Brussels Airlines Board as Co-Chairman, next to Viscount Etienne Davignon. Unchanged, three further Belgian members will belong to the Board. The Brussels Airlines Management Board remains unchanged under the leadership of CEO Bernard Gustin. In addition an Advisory Council will be established and will support the integration process.

Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-SNC (msn 1797) (Belgian Red Devils) GVA (Paul Denton). Image: 934664.

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Lufthansa Group to fly to 261 destinations in 101 countries this winter, the A380 to be operated on the Frankfurt – Hong Kong route

Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has issued this summary of new services for its upcoming winter schedule effective October 25:

Lufthansa Group logo

The Lufthansa Group Airlines – Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, Eurowings, Lufthansa and Swiss – will become even more attractive for leisure travellers this winter, as the airlines are adding more destinations that appeal to tourists and leisure travelers to their schedules. As always, passengers can trust in the first-rate service, the quality and the reliability of the Lufthansa Group.

With the introduction of the new winter schedule on October 25, 2015, the Lufthansa Group Airlines will offer their customers one of the densest route networks worldwide, featuring more than 20,380 flights per week. This winter, via their hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels, as well as via many point-to-point routes, the Lufthansa Group Airlines will serve 261 destinations in 101 countries (previous year: 260 destinations in 100 countries). Furthermore, in cooperation with 30 partner airlines, more than 18,000 codeshare flights will round off the respective flight offering, giving passengers access to an almost global network. The winter schedules of the individual Group airlines will apply from Sunday October 25, 2015 until Saturday March 27, 2016.

From October 2, the new price concept on domestic German and European routes will also apply to Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa. In Economy Class, travellers can individually choose between the three graded fare options “Light”, “Classic” and “Flex”. These options vary mainly with regard to the possibility of making advance seat reservations, re-booking or cancelling flights, and permitted free luggage allowances. Since tickets went on sale last July, the new low-priced “Light” fare option has proved popular with customers. For all options, the Lufthansa Group Airlines as a premier airline still permits one free item of hand baggage. Passengers are also offered free snacks and drinks on board, fixed seat allocation at the check-in counter as well as bonuses for “award miles”, “status miles” and “select miles”.

The most important news from the Lufthansa Group Airlines:

Lufthansa logo-2

Lufthansa

This winter, Lufthansa will serve 197 destinations and operate a total of 9,900 flights per week. With the introduction of the winter schedule, Lufthansa is expanding its new intercontinental flight offering, which is tailored to the needs of leisure travelers. Tampa (Florida), a new destination since September 25, is the first of several new holiday destinations due to be added to the Lufthansa route network from Frankfurt in the coming months.

From the end of October, Nairobi (Kenya) will be included in the Lufthansa flight schedule, and at the beginning of December, Cancun (Mexico), served mainly by charter flights, Malé (Maldives) and Mauritius will follow, with Panama City rounding off the new timetable in March 2016.

Good news for all Airbus A380 fans: this winter, for the first time, Lufthansa will operate its flagship on the Frankfurt-Hong Kong route. Services from Luxembourg will also be expanded, and with 28 weekly flights from Frankfurt and 24 flights from Munich, the Benelux countries will be served much more frequently than before.

The new winter timetable will offer passengers an hourly connection from Munich to Dusseldorf and Berlin-Tegel. The easy-to-remember flight times, which already apply to connections from Munich to Frankfurt and Hamburg, will now be extended to Dusseldorf and Berlin. Lufthansa flights from Munich to Berlin will take off on the hour, and to Dusseldorf at half past the hour.

This winter, Cape Town will once again be connected with the Munich hub. From October 25, the Airbus A340-600 in a four-class configuration will take off daily for South Africa. Lufthansa customers can also escape the cold winter weather and fly to new destinations in the Canary Islands. On October 25, the new connection between Munich and Fuerteventura will be launched; on October 31 Tenerife will follow. Travelers in search of a new, cooler winter destination will also be able to fly nonstop from Munich to Finland’s largest and most famous winter sports center. From December 19, 2015, Lufthansa will take off every Saturday to Kittilä, 170 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. The nearby skiing resort of Levi is the largest winter sports center in Lapland.

Germanwings and Eurowings

Germanwings (2nd) (13) logo

In the 2015/2016 winter timetable, Germanwings and Eurowings will offer a wide range of flights to 100 destinations in 36 countries, including intercontinental destinations. Germanwings flights to Berlin-Schönefeld will complement the carrier’s existing services to Berlin. A total of 35 flights per week will take off from Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart to Berlin-Schönefeld Airport. Germanwings will thus be the only airline flying from Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart to Berlin’s Tegel and Schönefeld airports.

Eurowings (2014) logo (large)

This winter, for the first time, the new Eurowings will take off from its new Austrian base in Vienna, from where it will operate nonstop services to Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and London. In November 2015, the airline will launch long-haul flights from Cologne/Bonn Airport with the Airbus A330-200 aircraft. The first of six intercontinental destinations will be Varadero in Cuba. Further destinations will be Phuket and Bangkok in Thailand, Dubai as well as Puerto Plata and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Swiss new logo

Swiss

This winter, the new Swiss flagship, the Boeing 777-300 ER, will enter scheduled service on routes from Zurich. From January 2016, the new long-haul aircraft will be deployed on the Zurich-New York route.

With the introduction of the winter timetable, Swiss will boost frequencies on its routes to Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Miami (Florida), and will also expand its services from Geneva to destinations in Russia and Portugal in order to meet seasonal demand. In total, Swiss will thus fly to 105 destinations in 49 countries this winter.

Austrian (2015) logo

Austrian Airlines

In the 2015/2016 winter season, Austrian Airlines will offer its passengers a wide range of flights to as many as 130 destinations in 59 countries. The airline will focus on tourist destinations such as Miami (Florida), which will be served five times a week. From October, it will also offer flights to Mauritius and Colombo (Sri Lanka), and from November, to Marrakesh (Morocco). In response to seasonal demand, Austrian Airlines will thus offer its passengers an attractive range of sunny destinations in the winter as well as in summer.

Brussels Airlines logo

Brussels Airlines

Once again, Belgium’s leading airline is underlining its position as the Africa specialist with the launch on October 26 of a new connection between Brussels Airport and Ghana. From that date, the Ghanaian capital Accra will be served four times a week. The flight schedule offers ideal connections to Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia, and the USA.

This winter, Brussels Airlines is also expanding its European flight schedule. The airline will fly to Bremen five times a week, while Zagreb (6 flights/week) and Billund (12 flights/week) will be served for the first time. Last but not least, Brussels Airlines has good news for sun-lovers. The Canary Islands Tenerife and Gran Canaria will be connected twice a week with Brussels Airport. As well as introducing new destinations, Brussels Airlines will increase frequencies on existing routes. During the winter months, more flights will therefore be available to Monrovia (Liberia), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Lomé (Togo), Cotonou (Benin) and Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso).

Top Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa’s Airbus A380-841 D-AIML (msn 149) arrives back at the FRA hub.

Lufthansa aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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