Category Archives: Brussels Airlines

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.


Brussels Airlines starts summer season with 26 new destinations

Brussels Airlines Airbus A319-112 OO-SSH (msn 2925) BRU (Ton Jochems). Image: 929333.

Brussels Airlines launches the biggest network expansion in the company’s history. Thanks to the cooperation with tour operators Neckermann, Thomas Cook and Pegase, the company doesn’t only increase its flight frequencies to different leisure destinations, but also expands its network with 26 new leisure destinations.

Brussels Airlines launches 26 new destinations this summer. It is the biggest network expansion in the history of the company. Besides an increase in flight frequencies to different holiday regions, the airline also welcomes new leisure destinations in Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro, Morocco, Portugal and Spain to its summer schedule, which runs from March 25 until October 27.

The significant growth of the airline’s destination offer is mainly due to the integration of the Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium activities and two of their Airbus A320 aircraft and herewith the closer cooperation with tour operators Neckermann, Thomas Cook and Pegase, leading to almost 1,700 weekly flights to short-and medium-haul destinations (+9.67% seats compared to 2017) and over 200 weekly flights on the long-haul this summer (+1.53% seats compared to 2017).

Short- and medium-haul destinations

Within Europe, the company welcomes several new leisure destinations this summer. Brussels Airlines sets sail for Burgas and Varna (Bulgaria), Cyprus, Sharm-el-Sheikh, Hurghada and Marsa Alam (Egypt), several Greek destinations and Islands, Ohrid (Macedonia) and Tivat (Montenegro).

The flight offer to holiday regions in Spain, Morocco, Greece and Croatia also grows significantly thanks to the addition of, among others, Lanzarote, Agadir, Santorini, Zadar and Split. Besides new destinations there will also be an increase in flight frequencies to French cities Ajaccio, Bastia, Bordeaux and Nice, as well as to  Athens, Tel Aviv, Florence and Malaga.


Burgas (Bulgaria)                              2 x week

Varna (Bulgaria)                                2 x week

Boa Vista (Cabo Verde)                    2 x week

Sal  (Cabo Verde)                              2 x week

Split (Croatia)                                    2 x week

Zadar (Croatia)                                 1 x week

Chania (Crete)                                  3 x week

Girona (Spain)                                  1 x week

Paphos (Cyprus)                               2 x week

Corfu (Greece)                                  3 x week

Mikonos (Greece)                             1 x week

Santorini (Greece)                            1 x week

Kos (Greece)                                      3 x week

Kalamata (Greece)                            1 x week

Zakynthos (Greece)                           2 x week

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt)                 1 x week

Marsa Alam (Egypt)                           1 x week

Hurghada (Egypt)                              3 x week

Tivat (Montenegro)                           1 x week

Agadir (Morocco)                               3 x week

Ohrid (Republic of Macedonia)       1 x week

Lanzarote (Spain)                              3 x week

Fuertaventura (Spain)                       1 x week

Almeria (Spain)                                  2 x week

Menorca (Spain)                                 1 x week

Reus (Spain)                                        1 x week


Ajaccio (France)                                 2 x week

Bastia (France)                                   2 x week

Bordeaux (France)                              6 x week

Nice (France)                                      21 x week

Athens (Greece)                                  5 x week

Tel Aviv (Israel)                                   14 x week

Florence (Italy)                                    7 x week

Malaga (Spain)                                    15 x week

Geneva (Switzerland)                         38 x week

Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A319-112 OO-SSH (msn 2925) BRU (Ton Jochems). Image: 929333.

Brussels Airlines aircraft slide show:

Brussels Airlines to resume flights to Yerevan

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2006

Brussels Airlines will resume weekly flights from Brussels to Yerevan, Armenia on June 2.

Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A330-223 OO-SFZ (msn 249) BRU (Karl Cornil). Image: 910517.

Brussels Airlines aircraft slide show:

Brussels Airlines reviews its positive 2017 financial results

Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-SNH (msn 2207) LHR (SPA). Image: 937527.

For Brussels Airlines, 2017 was marked by positive financial results in a highly competitive environment and strategic investment for the future.

  • Operating profit (EBIT) of €14.98 million in 2017 (IFRS standard)
  • Net result of €3.57 million (IFRS)
  • Continued highly competitive environment which, in combination with a strong capacity increase linked to fleet alignment (+11%), led to important yield pressure
  • Market share increased by 1.4 p.p. (+ 1.3 million passengers)
  • 9.1 million passengers (+17.3%) leading to a record seat load factor of 78.8% (+4.1 p.p.)
  • Key strategic projects implemented, weighing on 2017 results, but creating new sources of profit (Thomas Cook/launch of Mumbai/Toronto)
  • Excluding one-time costs of strategic investments, the operating result amounts to €25 million
  • €1.326 billion revenues and a cash position (€204 million) that remains very solid, despite the reimbursement of €16.8 million of airport security subsidies following negative decision by European Commission. The additional 2 years of subsidies which were expected to be received have been cancelled, which will negatively impact the BGAAP net result (exceptional one-time effect)
  • Brussels Airlines hired 645 new staff members (including 160 crew members of Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium)
In 2017, despite a challenging market environment, Brussels Airlines continued on its growth path of the last years, booking a positive result for the 3rd consecutive year.  Brussels Airlines’ seat capacity increased by 11% versus 2016, especially on the European network, following the phase-out of the AVRO RJ100 fleet (100 seater) and its partial replacement by bigger Airbus A319/320 (140/180 seats). The increased capacity on the long-haul sector was realized thanks to the addition of an Airbus A330, which was mainly deployed on the new Mumbai route.

The additional seats have resulted in a 17.3% passenger increase, allowing Brussels Airlines to pass the 9 million passenger mark for the first time in its history (one million above the original 2018 ambition) and leading to a seat load factor of 78.8% (+4.1 p.p. and only 1.8 p.p. under the 2018 ambition), also a record for Brussels Airlines.

An overall growing network and strategic investments fueling the future of Brussels Airlines

The European network – The integration in Belgium of the Thomas Cook Airlines activities and two of its Airbus A320 aircraft, allowed Brussels Airlines to reinforce its position in the important leisure segment. The closer cooperation with tour operator Thomas Cook Belgium allowed Brussels Airlines to add 26 new destinations to its existing leisure network and to further improve its productivity. The integration will increase Brussels Airlines’ customer base by a further one million guests, contributing substantially to the profitability of the highly competitive European network.

By increasing the seat capacity on the European network and, as a consequence, growing the passenger numbers, Brussels Airlines was able to increase its market share. This created an important pressure on the yield, however, which was further reinforced by the capacity increase related to the fleet alignment towards the A320 family in a market that was still in a recovery phase after the March 22nd terrorist attack, impacting the profitability in the early months of 2017. As a consequence, the full profit effect of the up-gauge from Avro to Airbus will hence only by visible as of 2018, as already visible in the financial results of the two first months of 2018.

The African continent – With a very strong performance, despite some political crises, Africa remained the strong-hold of Brussels Airlines in 2017. For the first time ever, the airline surpassed the one million passenger mark on the African network, corresponding to an increase of 14.0% and resulting in an average seat load factor of 87%, a record for Brussels Airlines. Brussels remains a real hub for African passengers, with 65% of passengers connecting to a Brussels Airlines destination in Europe or the US. The Cargo activities of the airline contributed to the positive results on Africa.

US and Canada – On the North Atlantic sector, Brussels Airlines focused on the performance  of its three destinations New York, Washington and Toronto. During the first semester of 2017, the traffic from the US to Belgium still suffered from the terror level 3, impacting travel from the US to and via Belgium. It’s only in the second semester that the traffic started to recover. Overall passenger number grew by 13.7%.

Brussels Airlines expects a further improvement of the North Atlantic performance thanks to the recently signed sales agreement with the Lufthansa Group.

Newcomer India – Launched in April last year, Brussels Airlines’ first Asian destination Mumbai reached an average seat load factor of 75% and financials are in line with the business plan. India is an important economic partner for Belgium with, at the same time, a substantial leisure potential.

A good start of 2018

The first two months of this year show a positive trend in terms of passenger volumes and revenues – even though the pressure on the yield remains very high. With a passenger growth of 15% and 16.5% in respectively January and February, Brussels Airlines could further reinforce its market position. The overall costs per seat are also lower than during the same period last year – especially thanks to the first results of the investments done in 2017.

Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-SNH (msn 2207) LHR (SPA). Image: 937527.

Brussels Airlines aircraft slide show:

Brussels Airlines to fly to Antalya and Santorini

Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-SNB (msn 1493) CDG (Jacques Guillem). Image: 937526.

Brussels Airlines (Brussels), according to Airline Route, will open two new seasonal holiday routes for the summer season.

The flag carrier will open the Brussels – Santorini (Thira), Greece route on May 4. It will operate weekly until September 28.

This will be followed by the Brussels – Antalya, Turkey route on June 29. Four flights a week will be operated.

In addition, Brussels Airlines will be operating holiday routes this summer previously operated by Thomas Cook Airlines (Belgium).

Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-SNB (msn 1493) CDG (Jacques Guillem). Image: 937526.

Brussels Airlines aircraft slide show: