Category Archives: Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines introduces new Economy Light fare on North American routes

Brussels Airlines Airbus A330-301 OO-SFM (msn 030) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 939585.

Brussels Airlines has announced it is now offering its guests a so-called Economy Light fare option on North American routes. The new offer is the cheapest choice for price-conscious passengers who are travelling with hand luggage only and do not require ticket flexibility.

Economy Light passengers have the option of individually booking a piece of luggage or reserving a particular seat against a fee, and to personalize their experience by adding services that best meet their needs. Meals and drinks continue to be free of charge for all passengers on board. The Economy Light fares start at €383 for a return flight to New York JFK and can be booked as of today on or via travel agencies.

Brussels Airlines is introducing the new Economy Light fare on its North American destinations (New York, Washington D.C. and Toronto) together with Austrian, Lufthansa and Swiss as well as with its A++ joint venture partners United and Air Canada.

Copyright Photo (all others by Brussels Airlines): Brussels Airlines Airbus A330-301 OO-SFM (msn 030) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 939585.

Brussels Airlines aircraft slide show:


Brussels Airlines submits new offer to its pilot community focusing on work life balance and remuneration package

Brussels Airlines' 2018 "Aerosmurf" logo jet

Brussels Airlines has issued this statement:

The Brussels Airlines management and union delegates have worked together intensively the past weeks to further improve the working conditions of the airline’s pilot community. Today, the airline and its social partners have discussed the proposal that will be submitted to the Brussels Airlines pilots for referendum in the coming days.

The current proposal is the result of a joint working group that mainly focussed on the improvement of the current duty and rest time rules and other measures further enhancing the work life balance of the pilots, as well as a compensation plan.

The new proposal represents an important investment both financially as well as in terms of resources for the company and answers to the majority of the concerns of the Brussels Airlines cockpit community.

Based on the proposal made, Brussels Airlines hopes that an agreement can be reached.

In other news, Brussels Airlines welcomed 5.3% more passengers in May, compared to the same period last year. The growth was projected to be higher, but two days of social actions forced the airline to cancel 557 flights. Nevertheless, compared to the same month last year, the number of passengers traveling with Brussels Airlines rose from 839,320 to 883,784.

Compared to the same month last year, Brussels Airlines performed 7.3% less flights in May. The decrease in flights is caused by the social actions of the airline’s pilots on May 14th and May 16th, causing the cancellation of 557 flights. However, the number of passengers traveling on a Brussels Airlines flight rose by 5.3% compared to May 2017.

On the European network the airline registered a passenger growth of 4.8%, while the number of passengers travelling on North American flights rose by 1.3%. Compared to the same month last year, 2.7% more customers have chosen Brussels Airlines for flights to and from the Middle East. The strongest increase was noted on the African network, where 14.1% more guests boarded a Brussels Airlines flight. The number of people traveling with Brussels Airlines to Asia decreased by 13.2%, due to a lower flight offer. In May 2018 the airline operated 40 flights to Mumbai, compared to 44 flights in May 2017.

Despite the decrease in operated flights, the Available Seat-Kilometers (ASK) increased by 3.9%, due to the replacement of the last AVRO jets (100 seats) by bigger Airbus aircraft (180 seats). The Passenger Load Factor climbed up from 76.5% in May last year to 80.3% in May 2018. Thanks to its increased offer, Brussels Airlines was able to continue offering competitive fares and attract even more customers. This means, however, that the pressure on the ticket prices remains very high.

The Cargo Load Factor increased by 4.3 percentage points to an average of 69.7%, while the Revenue Ton-Kilometers (RTK) grew by 11.0%. The transported cargo volume amounted to 4,446 tons.

Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-SND (msn 1838) (we fly you to the home of the Smurfs) BRU (Ton Jochems). Image: 941886.

Brussels Airlines aircraft slide show:

Brussels Airlines endures two days of strikes this week

Brussels Airlines Airbus A330-223 OO-SFY (msn 229) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 941517.

Brussels Airlines is today being struck by its pilot’s union. The airline will endure another day of industrial action on Wednesday.

The airline issued this statement before the strikes started:

Brussels Airlines deeply regrets that strike actions triggered by its social partners representing the airline’s pilot community are causing massive disruptions in Monday’s and Wednesday’s flight operations.

The strike will impact Brussels Airlines flights to and from Brussels on May 14 and May 16, 2018.   278 flights to and from Brussels were scheduled on Monday and 279 flights on Wednesday, with respectively 34,000 and 29,000 passengers booked.

“Despite the fact that we do everything we can to reduce the inconveniences to our guests to a minimum, the strike severely impacts the travel plans of our customers, for which we wish to sincerely apologise. We have mobilized a maximum of staff and have increased the capacity of our Service Center to assist our guests as much as possible with rebooking”, explains Thibault Demoulin, Chief Operating Officer of Brussels Airlines. “From Brussels Airlines’ point of view, the strike is incomprehensible, since the company has submitted substantial offers to the cockpit union delegation”, continues Thibault Demoulin.

Priority is given to the stranded guests

Significant disruptions to the flight operations are to be expected during the days of the strike.

Passengers booked on a flight on Monday or Wednesday can rebook their flight free of charge or cancel their reservation at no extra charge with a full refund. Guests who are stranded at their destination will be offered maximum care, including hotel accommodation, alternative travel options on Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa Group airlines or other available carriers.


New conciliation process to start

A first proposal of a flexible benefit plan, that foresaw as of January 1, 2019 an increase of 3% of the pilot’s monthly gross salary and an additional 3% as of 2020 should there be no growth, had been refused by the pilots.

Today, in order to give a new chance to the negotiations, the management of Brussels Airlines had made a new proposal for its pilots. Indeed, following latest discussions among Brussels Airlines management, union representatives and pilots, all parties involved came to the conclusion that the past weeks and months the focus in the negotiations was too much on salary increase rather than on the improvement of work-life balance, which seems to be the predominant concern of the pilot community.

The purpose was now to reinforce the already established working group on flight-time/duty-time (workload) in order to come with concrete proposals. With the feedback received, the management has decided to put extra resources into this working group and re-allocate part of the foreseen funds to the improvement of rosters and holiday planning.

The management of Brussels Airlines proposed to finalize a concrete planning listing all the initiatives, to speed up the process. To cover the implementation period of a new to be agreed proposal, intermediate compensation measures are being worked on, which can be implemented in the short run.

“We deeply regret the refusal of our new offer that focuses on the main concern of our pilots – an improved work-life balance. We know that this is the most important to them”, explains Christina Foerster, CEO of Brussels Airlines. “We are also worried about the process as our social partners announced a strike even before the new conciliation process has started. It goes without saying that we remain open for transparent and constructive dialogue as we continue aiming at a solution that on the one hand responds to the concerns of our pilots and on the other hand doesn’t put the future of our company at stake. The union delegation continues to propose the same 12 points, which represent a total increase in cost of 25% for the company. It would be irresponsible for the future of our company and its 3900 employees to accept this.”

Top Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A330-223 OO-SFY (msn 229) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 941517.

Brussels Airlines aircraft slide show:

Reuters: Brussels Airlines pilots call for a strike on May 11

First A340, in service March 20, 2018 Dusseldorf - Vienna

From Reuters:

Pilots of Lufthansa subsidiary Brussels Airlines plan to go on strike from May 11 in a dispute over pay and conditions.

The unions of pilots formally notified the airline of its intention on Friday, although there will be talks between Brussels Airlines and union representatives on Monday, the airline and a union representative said.

Pilots want a pay hike, a better work-life balance, improved career prospects and the possibility of earlier retirement and voted 80 percent in favor of a strike.

Filip Lemberechts of the ACLVB union said many of the concerns related to Brussels Airlines future as part of Lufthansa’s budget brand Eurowings.

“What will happen to Brussels Airlines for medium- and long-haul flights, what is the position of Brussels… As long as there is uncertainty, people are worried,” he said.

Lufthansa, which took control of the Belgian national flag carrier in 2016, earlier this year appointed a new chief executive officer and chief operating officer at the airline.

The German company plans to use Brussels Airlines to expand long-haul operations for its Eurowings budget brand out of Duesseldorf.

Copyright Photo: Operated by Brussels Airlines: Eurowings (Brussels Airlines) Airbus A340-313 OO-SCW (msn 335) PMI (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 941319.

Eurowings aircraft slide show:

Brussels Airlines aircraft slide show:

Bottom Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-TCQ (msn 2114) BRU (Ton Jochems). Image: 941516.

Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-TCQ (msn 2114) BRU (Ton Jochems). Image: 941516.

Brussels Airlines grows by 13.4% in March

Brussels Airlines Airbus A319-111 OO-SSS (msn 2030) LHR (Ken Petersen). Image: 941515.

Brussels Airlines made this announcement:

In March, 778,175 passengers boarded a Brussels Airlines flight, which represents a 13.4% increase compared to the same month last year. Passenger growth was recorded across the entire network, leading to a 4.7 percentage point increase of the seat load factor.

Brussels Airlines closes March with growth. On board of the 6,390 flights that were operated during the past month, Brussels Airlines welcomed 778,175 passengers, or 91,876 more than in March 2017. The largest growth was recorded on the North American (+28.1%) and African sectors (+18.1%), followed by the European network (+10.8%) and the Middle East (+5.6%). The Asian growth is due to the fact that Brussels Airlines’ Mumbai route was opened on 30 March 2017 (comparison of 2 days of operations last year versus an entire month this year). On the European network the growth was mainly achieved thanks to the Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium activities that were integrated last October.


The passenger growth led to an increase of the seat load factor by 4.7 percentage points, bringing the average seat load factor to 79.5%. It was also a very strong month for Brussels Airlines Cargo. The cargo load factor grew by 5.8 percentage points to 75.2%. The freight volumes transported in the belly of Brussels Airlines’ passenger flights increased by 43%, a significant growth that is partly due to the opening of the Mumbai route.

Compared to March last year, Brussels Airlines operated 3.9% less flights. Nevertheless the airline was able to increase its growth rate. This is the result of the replacement of the last AVRO jets (100 seats) by Airbus aircraft with a greater capacity (180 seats). Thanks to its increased offer, Brussels Airlines was able to continue to propose competitive fares and attract even more customers. This means, however, that the pressure on airline ticket prices remains very high.

These statistics do not include the passengers on board of charter flights Brussels Airlines operates on behalf of tour operators.


Month Month VLY difference
mar18 mar17
Flights 6,390 6,650 -3.9%
Total Passengers 778,175 686,299 13.4%
— Passengers Europe 632,445 570,678 10.8%
— Passengers Africa 94,059 79,643 18.1%
— Passengers North America 24,817 19,368 28.1%
— Passengers Middle East 16,775 15,881 5.6%
— Passengers Asia 10,079 729 1282.6%
Available seat-kilometers  (ASK) 1,661,714,583 1,423,890,745 16.7%
Revenue Passenger-Kilometers  (RPK) 1,320,531,121 1,064,760,834 24.0%
Passenger Load Factor (%) 79.5% 74.8% 4.7%pt
Available Ton-Kilometers (ATK)    197,312 168,453 17.1%
Revenue Ton-Kilometers  (RTK) 155,970 123,253 26.5%
Cargo Load Factor (%) 75.2% 69.4% 5.8%pt
These results are based on figures currently available

Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A319-111 OO-SSS (msn 2030) LHR (Ken Petersen). Image: 941515.

Brussels Airlines aircraft slide show:

Brussels Airlines reveals “Aerosmurf”

7 months, 1415 submitted ideas and 14 painting days after the start of the Belgian Icon contest, Brussels Airlines’ fifth iconic plane is ready to carry out its Belgian colors around Europe and beyond. The Smurfs design by the Italian Marta Mascellani, chosen by the public, will represent Belgium on a Brussels Airlines A320 (OO-SND) named “Aerosmurf”. It was unveiled on March 24, 2018.

Above Photo: Marta and Lorenzo Mascellani. 

As a proud ambassador of Belgium, Brussels Airlines continues its series of Belgian Icons, aircraft with special designs dedicated to iconic Belgians. Today, in the presence of winner Marta Mascellani and finalists of the contest, Brussels Airlines revealed Aerosmurf. The Smurfs, who celebrate their 60thbirthday this year, are one of Belgium’s most loved comic characters and are sure to be the perfect flying ambassadors for Belgium. As from tomorrow Aerosmurf will bring the world to Belgium and the best of Belgium to the world, just like the four other Belgian Icons Rackham (Tintin), Magritte, Trident (Red Devils) and Amare (Tomorrowland).

The name Aerosmurf is the title of a Smurfs comic album which tells the story of a little Smurf whose dream is to fly. The little Smurf tried several ideas, but none of them work, until he builds a plane. Since then, the little Smurf is known as Aerosmurf.

“To design our fifth Belgian Icon, we wanted to ask the public who they wish to see flying through the skies as an ambassador for Belgium. That’s why we launched a contest last year to which everyone with a heart for Belgium, every enthusiast and every designer could participate by sending in their idea or plane design. And we received an overwhelming amount of ideas, from fries to the saxophone.”  

  • Tanguy Cartuyvels, VP Marketing at Brussels Airlines.

“It is an honor to see the Smurfs representing our country as a Belgian Icon, and a fantastic way to celebrate their 60th birthday. My father would be proud to see Aerosmurf taking to the skies.”

  • Véronique Culliford, Peyo’s daughter and president and founder of IMPS

The design

The designers of studio Peyo adapted Marta’s design to fit the round fuselage of an aircraft. The result is a plane with 19 smurfs, passengers as well as crew, interacting with each other. In the cockpit we find Smurfette as the captain and Papa Smurf as co-pilot. The design contains Belgian details, representing the many other ideas that were submitted during the contest. On the left hand side Harmony Smurf is playing the Belgian national anthem on the saxophone – a Belgian invention – together with another smurf who is playing the harmonica, referring to the famous Belgian musician Toots Thielemans. On the crew smurf’s trolley we find a miniature Atomium.

On the right side of the plane a crew smurf is serving Belgian fries and waffles to the smurf passengers. Aerosmurf also has two secret passengers, Gargamel and Azrael, trying to escape through a hatch in the belly of the plane. A treat for plane spotters, since they are only visible during takeoff and landing.

For passengers flying with Aerosmurf the experience continues inside. Little smurf footsteps on the carpet are leading the Aerosmurf guests to their seats, while a Smurfs video and adapted boarding music complete the Smurfs experience.

Led by airbrush specialist André Eisele, 14 artists worked 14 days non-stop to paint the eleven meters high and 37.56 meters long design on the plane by hand. They used 28 colors, 420 liters of paint, 24,000 meters of masking tape and 4,500 m² masking paper. Aerosmurf will be part of the Brussels Airlines fleet until 2023.

As the winner of the contest, Marta Mascellani followed the plane’s creation process behind the scenes. Today she stands front row at the revealing of the aircraft and tomorrow Aerosmurf will take Marta home to Milan, with in the cockpit her brother Lorenzo, who is a pilot at Brussels Airlines and also her personal connection to Belgium.

“It is amazing to see how they really made my design come alive. Drawing is a passion of mine and seeing my design on a plane that will fly around Europe is a wonderful way to share that passion with the world.”

  • Marta Mascellani, designer Aerosmurf

All photos by Brussels Airlines.

Today’s schedule:

– SN2093 taking off in BRU at 9h50, arriving in LHR at 10h15
– SN2094 taking off in LHR at 11h05, arriving in BRU at 13h15
– SN3149 taking off in BRU at 16h35, arriving in LIN at 18h00
– SN3150 taking off in LIN at 18h50, arriving in BRU at 20h20
– SN3291 taking off in BRU at 21h20, arriving in TLV at 02h40

Eurowings adds the first Airbus A340-300, operated by Brussels Airlines

Eurowings placed the first Airbus A340-300 into revenue service on March 20 from Dusseldorf, operated by Brussels Airlines. Flight EW 9778, operated with the pictured A340-313 OO-SCW (msn 335), departed DUS bound for Vienna. OO-SCW is the first of three A340s to be operated by Brussels Airlines from the DUS base.

Photo: Eurowings.