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Brussels Airlines (Belgium)

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Brussels Airlines
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded7 November 2006
Commenced operations25 March 2007
HubsBrussels Airport
Frequent-flyer program
AllianceStar Alliance
Fleet size62
Company sloganWe go the extra smile.
Parent companyEurowings Group
HeadquartersBrussels Airport
Diegem, Machelen, Belgium
Key people
  • Christina Foerster, CEO
  • Dieter Vranckx, CFO

Brussels Airlines (stylized as brussels airlines) is the flag carrier[3] and largest airline of Belgium, based and headquartered at Brussels Airport. It operates to over 120 destinations in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia and also offers charter services, maintenance and crew training. It is a member of the Star Alliance as well as the International Air Transport Association. The airline's IATA code SN is inherited from its predecessors, Sabena and SN Brussels Airlines. Brussels Airlines is a subsidiary of Eurowings Group.


Brussels Airlines was created following the merger of SN Brussels Airlines (SNBA) and Virgin Express, the former subsequently created after the bankruptcy of Belgium's legacy national carrier Sabena. On 12 April 2005, SN Airholding, the company behind SNBA, signed an agreement with Richard Branson, giving it control over Virgin Express. On 31 March 2006 SNBA and Virgin Express announced their merger into a single company. On 7 November 2006, the new name, Brussels Airlines, was announced at a press conference at Brussels Airport. Brussels Airlines began operations on 25 March 2007. Some time between this time period, the airline was forced to change its 13-dot logo to a 14-dot logo due to superstitious passengers complaining about the logo.

On 15 September 2008, it was announced that Lufthansa would acquire a 45% stake in Brussels Airlines with an option to acquire the remaining 55% from 2011. As a part of this deal, Brussels Airlines would join Star Alliance.[4][5] From 26 October 2008, the ICAO code was changed from DAT to BEL.

On 15 June 2009, Brussels Airlines announced that the European Commission had granted approval for Lufthansa to take a minority share in Brussels Airlines. As a result of this clearance by the EU, Brussels Airlines was able to join Star Alliance.[6] Lufthansa purchased 45% of the company in 2009, and acquired the remainder in January 2017.[7][8]

Since 25 October 2009, Brussels Airlines has been a member of Lufthansa's frequent flyer programme Miles & More. On 9 December 2009, Brussels Airlines became the 26th Star Alliance member during a ceremony at Brussels Town Hall.[citation needed]

On 15 December 2009, Brussels Airlines announced it was working on a new regional airline in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The name of the airline was Korongo. The main base of the airline was at Lubumbashi in Congo. The airline was launched in April 2012 and shut down in 2015. Brussels Airlines cancelled the airDC project, due to disagreements with Hewa Bora.

Development since 2010

On 5 July 2010, a fifth Airbus A330-300 entered into service. Brussels Airlines increased its frequency to Abidjan (up to 6 weekly) and added Accra, Cotonou, Ouagadougou, and Lomé as new destinations. On 11 August 2010, Brussels Airlines and tour operator Club Med announced a new cooperation. As from April 2011, Brussels Airlines will transport 80% of all Club Med passengers out of Brussels, both on existing regular Brussels Airlines routes as on new charter routes operated by Brussels Airlines. Brussels Airlines also announced that it will lease 2 Airbus A320 aircraft from January 2011.[9]

On 26 August 2010, the company announced its new maintenance project. The contract with Sabena Technics for the A330 and Boeing 737 ended on 1 January 2011 and Brussels Airlines will then do the maintenance on the planes. To be able to do this, the move from Building 117 to Hangar 41 was necessary. Also, 73 people from Sabena Technics joined the Brussels Airlines maintenance staff.

On 1 June 2012[10] Brussels Airlines inaugurated the route to New York JFK, operating daily with an Airbus A330-300 fitted with the new interior. This is the first Belgian airline in 10 years to fly to New York, after the collapse of Sabena and Delsey Airlines. Since 18 June 2013 they also fly 5 times a week to Washington Dulles.[11] Since April 2016 Toronto Pearson has been added to the North-American network.[12] It has been announced that as from March 2017 a new service to Mumbai will commence with 5 flights per week operated by a new Airbus A330-200 arriving early 2017.

On 30 January 2014, Brussels Airlines added 9 seasonal destinations and returned to the Polish market after some years of absence. It also confirmed the permanent exit of its Avro RJ100 fleet by 2016.[13]

On 22 March 2016, members of the terrorist organization ISIL detonated two bombs in Brussels Airport, closing the airport until Sunday, 27 March 2016. Brussels Airlines shifted some long haul flights to Zurich and Frankfurt and began Airbus A319/Avro RJ100 shuttle service between Liege/Antwerp and Zurich/Frankfurt, as well as providing contracted bus service from Brussels to Antwerp and Liege from where it served European destinations.[14]

On 28 September 2016, the Supervisory Board of Lufthansa announced that the airline would exercise the option to acquire the remaining 55% of Brussels Airlines' parent company SN Airholding. The modalities would be defined before the end of the year in order to conclude the transaction at the beginning of 2017. .[15]

In March 2017, Thomas Cook announced its intention to sell its Belgian flight operations. Brussels Airlines' parent company. Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium was shut down by November 2017 with two aircraft and all traffic rights being integrated by Brussels Airlines.[16][17] Brussels Airlines took over the 160 Thomas Cook Airlines crew members.

In February 2018 CEO Bernard Gustin and financial director Jan De Raeymaeker resigned after a meeting with the Lufthansa board over the future of the airline. Gustin was replaced by Christina Foerster on 1 April 2018. On 1 May 2018, Dieter Vranckx joined the company as CFO.

Corporate affairs

Head office

The company is headquartered in the b.house (Building 26) in the General Aviation Zone on the grounds of Brussels Airport and in Diegem, Machelen, Flemish Brabant.[18][19][20] The airline asked the Belgian design agency MAXIMALdesign to design the interior of the facility.[21]

Ownership and structure

Brussels Airlines is the operating name of Brussels Airlines SA/NV (previously Delta Air Transport SA/NV)[22] which has its registered office in Elsene-Ixelles, Brussels.[23]

Brussels Airlines is almost 100% owned by SN Airholding SA/NV (1,811,308 shares out of 1,811,309), a Belgian holding company. Lufthansa owns 100% of SN Airholding SA/NV, having taken control of the remaining shares it did not own effective January 2017.[24]

Christina Foerster is the CEO since 1 April 2018. The Executive Committee consists of Christina Foerster (CEO & CCO), Edi Wolfensberger (COO) and Dieter Vranckx (CFO).

Business trends

Limited information appears to be published. However, accounts for all Belgian companies must be filed with the National Bank of Belgium. Information available since 2007 (the first year of operations as Brussels Airlines) appears to be as follows (for years ending 31 December):

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Revenue (m) 925 1,011 849 930 1,036 1,113 1,138 1,224 1,330 1,271 1,326 1,500
Net profits/losses (m) 25.6 6.8 40 5 80 61 22 4.2 41.3 15 3.57 12.8
Number of employees (average) 3,000 2,418 2,479 2,393 2,395 2,427 2,480 3,400 3,512
Number of passengers (scheduled) (m) 5.85 5.46 4.67 4.89 5.69 5.76 5.88 6.60 7.50 7.70 9.10 10.03
Passenger load factor (%) 66.5 68.7 69.2 72.0 74.4 74.9 78.5 81.0
Number of aircraft 47 49 50 55
Notes/sources [25] [26][27] [26][27] [26][28] [28][29] [30][31]
[33] [34][35]


Codeshare agreements

Brussels Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[36]


As of September 2019, Brussels Airlines operates an all-Airbus fleet, composed of the following registered aircraft:[38]

Brussels Airlines fleet

Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y+ Y Total
Airbus A319-100 22 141 141 One aircraft in Star Alliance livery.
2 -- -- 140 140 Operated by CSA Czech Airlines.[39]
1 -- -- 150 150 Operated by Germanwings[40]
Airbus A320-200 17 180 180 Six aircraft in Belgian Icons liveries and one in Eurowings livery.
Airbus A330-200 3 22 242 264 To be replaced by Airbus A330-300 from 2020 to 2022.[41]
Airbus A330-300 8 1[42] 30 21 244 295[43]
3 1[44] 30 28 225 283 Operated for Eurowings.
Airbus A340-300 1 18 21 261 300 Operated forEurowings.[45]
To be phased out and replaced by Airbus A330-300 from Lufthansa.
Bombardier CRJ900 5 -- -- -- 90 90 Operated by CityJet.[46]
Total 62 2
Fleet development

Brussels Airlines previously operated six British Aerospace 146s which were withdrawn in 2008.

During 2010, two Airbus A319-100s joined Brussels Airlines' fleet. The first Airbus A320-200 joined the fleet in February 2011 and made its first commercial flight on 23 April 2011. With improving financial performance, rising cash reserves and a desire to reduce costs more rapidly, Brussels Airlines accelerated its fleet replacement plan by ordering 12 aircraft in August 2011. Six A319s, four A320s and two A330-200s were added to the fleet. This has completed the exit of Boeing aircraft from the fleet and accelerated the replacement of the Avro RJ85.

Starting 2016, Brussels Airlines began phasing out its Avro RJ100s and replaced them with the Airbus A320 family and wet-leased Sukhoi Superjets. This was completed by the end of 2017.[47] However, Brussels Airlines announced in July 2018 it would terminate the Superjet wet-lease contracts earlier than planned. This is due to the longer downtimes of the aircraft in case of repairs compared to more common and less new types.[48] The Superjets have been phased out by January 2019.

Special liveries

Brussels Airlines launched a series of Belgian Icon special liveries on its Airbus A320 fleet, all representing things that are typically Belgian: Rackham (a Tintin themed aircraft), Magritte (an ode to the famous surrealist artist René Magritte), Trident (the aircraft for the Belgian national football team) and Amare (Tomorrowland Festival theme). On 24 March 2018 the airline introduced an additional aircraft themed to The Smurfs.[49][50] In spring 2019 an additional aircraft was dedicated to the famous Flemish painter Bruegel.


Tariff structure

On European flights, the airline offers four types of tickets:

  • Check&Go is a low cost fare, without checked-in luggage and with a buy on board programme offering snacks and drinks.
  • Light&Relax is a regular economy class with a buy on board programme offering snacks and drinks for purchase.
  • Flex&Fast is an economy plus class, offering full service, such as complimentary newspapers, catering, fast lane at security, change flexibility and priority boarding.
  • Bizz&Class is a full-service business class on the European network. It offers premium meals, free champagne and full flexibility.

On medium-haul and long-haul flights (to Africa and North America), Brussels Airlines offers economy light, regular economy, economy privilege and business classes.

Inflight entertainment

Brussels Airlines has two inflight magazines. For the European network there is b-there! which is a monthly magazine. On the African network, the magazine is named B Spirit Magazine[51] and is published every two months. Both magazines are available on board or as a PDF download through their respective websites. The magazines are also available as a freely downloadable application for Apple's iPad.[52]

From November 2011 until the end of 2012 Brussels Airlines has introduced a new interior on the A330 fleet. The new economy seats feature AVOD personal in-flight entertainment 9 inch screens. Also business class got new lie-flat seats with an improved AVOD IFE system with 15 inch screens, supplied by the IMS-Company and known as "RAVE".

Frequent flyer programme

Brussels Airlines uses Miles & More, Lufthansa's frequent flyer programme. Miles can be earned on flights operated by airlines which are part of the programme, in addition to flights operated by Star Alliance airlines.[53] Miles can also be earned with Brussels Airlines' non-airline partners.[54]

Brussels Airlines customers have been able to earn Miles & More benefits since 25 October 2009,[55] when Brussels Airlines' previous frequent flyer programme, Privilege, ended. There was a conversion of Privilege Gold members into Miles & More Frequent Travellers, while Privilege Platinum card holders became Miles & More Senators. Privilege miles were converted on a 1 to 1 basis.

On 19 October 2015 Brussels Airlines launched a new customer programme called Loop, which is available for all flights in the airline's European network. Loop is designed for the increasing number of customers who fly Brussels Airlines regularly within Europe and do not receive significant benefits from traditional frequent flyer programmes.

See also


  1. ^ "IATA - Airline and Airport Code Search". iata.org. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  2. ^ "About LOOP - Brussels Airlines". brusselsairlines.com. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  3. ^ Dron, Alan (12 January 2017). "Brussels Airlines to wet-lease Superjets". Air Transport World. Archived from the original on 17 January 2017.
  4. ^ Official press release by Lufthansa Archived 18 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Corporate website". brusselsairlines.com. Archived from the original on 18 September 2008.
  6. ^ "Corporate website | Brussels Airlines". www.brusselsairlines.com. Archived from the original on 26 June 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Lufthansa board approves Brussels Airlines takeover". 28 September 2016. Archived from the original on 30 November 2016.
  8. ^ Hofmann, Kurt (15 December 2016). "Lufthansa acquires Brussels Airlines, to become part of Eurowings Group". atwonline.com. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  9. ^ (in Dutch) De Tijd: Club Med in zee met Brussels Airlines Archived 17 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Tijd.be (28 October 2010).
  10. ^ "Brussels Airport Website: Brussels Airlines: inaugural flight to New York". Brusselsairport.be. 1 June 2012. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014.
  11. ^ "Flight tickets to Washington. Book your flight with Brussels Airlines". Brusselsairlines.com. Archived from the original on 26 April 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Brussels Airlines invests in intercontinental growth". Brusselsairlines.com. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  13. ^ "Meer vliegtuigen en bestemmingen Brussels Airlines". deredactie.be.
  14. ^ "AlertMessageDetail - Brussels Airlines". brusselsairlines.com.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ aero.de - "Thomas Cook hands Belgian airline business to Lufthansa" (German) 30 March 2017
  17. ^ "Brussels Airlines to absorb Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium". Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  18. ^ "Corp Contact Us Archived 13 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine." Brussels Airlines. Retrieved on 23 October 2009.
  19. ^ "Africa is our passion." Brussels Airlines. Retrieved on 6 July 2011. "Brussels Airlines zone General Aviation b.house Airport Building 26 Ringbaan 1831 Diegem Belgium"
  20. ^ "bedrijf.jpg Archived 24 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine." Machelen. Retrieved on 25 April 2010.
  21. ^ "Brussels Airlines Rebranding and interior design of b.house Archived 26 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine." Maximal Design. Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
  22. ^ "General Conditions of Carriage". Brussels Airlines. Archived from the original on 7 May 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2008. " WE , OUR OURSELVES and US means Delta Air Transport SA/NV, trading as Brussels Airlines and having its registered office at 11, Rue des Colonies -Koloniënstraat, 1000 Brussels, Belgium."
  23. ^ "Home Archived 16 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine." Brussels Airlines. Retrieved on 4 February 2012. "Brussels Airlines zone General Aviation b.house Airport Building 26 Ringbaan 1831 Diegem Belgium Registered office: Brussels Airlines SA/NV 100102, Avenue des Saisons, box 30, 1050 Brussels, Belgium"
  24. ^ "Shareholders". Brussels Airlines. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  25. ^ "2007 financial results". Brussels Airlines. 10 April 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  26. ^ a b c "Brussels Airlines reduces its losses, but yields fall as Ryanair and Vueling enter its Brussels hub". CAPA - Centre for Aviation analysis of Brussels Airlines annual reports filed at www.nbb.be. 10 August 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  27. ^ a b "Passenger increase for Brussels Airlines in 2012". Brussels Airlines. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  28. ^ a b "Brussels Airlines welcomed 757,749 more passengers in 2014" (Press release). Brussels Airlines. 9 January 2015. Archived from the original on 12 February 2016. 
  29. ^ "Brussels Airlines reports significant financial improvements in 2014, expects to break-even in 2015". CAPA - Centre for Aviation. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  30. ^ "All-time record for Brussels Airlines in 2015" (Press release). Brussels Airlines. 12 January 2016. Archived from the original on 12 February 2016. 
  31. ^ "Fleet | Brussels Airlines". www.brusselsairlines.com. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  32. ^ "Brussels Airlines achieves record profit and creates additional jobs". Brussels Airlines. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  33. ^ "Brussels Airlines closes challenging 2016 with a profit". www.pressbrusselsairlines.com. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  34. ^ https://www.aviation24.be/airlines/lufthansa-group/brussels-airlines/2018-net-profit-e-12-8-million/
  35. ^ "12,8 miljoen euro winst voor Brussels Airlines in 2018". www.bruzz.be. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  36. ^ "Profile on Brussels Airlines". CAPA. Centre for Aviation. Archived from the original on 31 October 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  37. ^ "Cathay Pacific / brussels airlines plans codeshare launch in late-July 2018". Ch-Aviation. 20 July 2018.
  38. ^ "Belgian Aircraft Register". Belgian Government - Official information and services. Archived from the original on 29 September 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  39. ^ "Brussels - Lufthansa Group Fleet". sites.google.com. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  40. ^ "Brussels - Lufthansa Group Fleet". sites.google.com. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  41. ^ lh-taufnamen.de - Brussels Airlines Archived 24 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 20 January 2018
  42. ^ "Brussels - Lufthansa Group Fleet". sites.google.com. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  43. ^ "Brussels Airlines fleet - Airbus A330-300". Brussels Airlines. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  44. ^ "Brussels - Lufthansa Group Fleet". sites.google.com. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  45. ^ "BREAKING: Brussels Airlines to acquire two Airbus A340 aircraft, to be operated on behalf of Eurowings - Aviation24.be". Aviation24.be. 17 October 2017. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  46. ^ "Brussels Airlines welcomes its 5th Bombardier CRJ-900 aircraft operated by CityJet". Aviation24.be. 19 May 2019. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  47. ^ "Gustin: "Eind 2017 alle Avro's uit de vloot" - Flightlevel". 3 December 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  48. ^ aerotelegraph.com - "Brussels Airlines wants to get rid of Superjets" (German) 18 July 2018.
  49. ^ "Belgian Icons". brusselsairlines.com.
  50. ^ "The Smurfs to become Brussels Airlines 5th Belgian Icon". press.brusselsairlines.com.
  51. ^ "B Spirit Magazine website". bspiritmagazine.com.
  52. ^ "iPad In-Flight Magazines". ipadinflightmagazines.blogspot.com.
  53. ^ [1] Archived 15 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  54. ^ "Corporate website | Brussels Airlines". www.brusselsairlines.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  55. ^ "Brussels Airlines is the newest Miles & More airline partner". Miles and More. 1 April 2009.

External links

Media related to Brussels Airlines at Wikimedia Commons

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