This morning, some top brass of Lufthansa were visiting Brussels Airlines headquarters, and simultaneously there was an extraordinary meeting of the staff council.
A first surprising decision arose out of these meetings in the early afternoon: Brussels Airlines would get two Airbus A340-300 aircraft to be operated from Summer 2018 on long-haul routes to North America on behalf of Eurowings. The initial destinations will be New York JFK and Los Angeles. The number of A340 aircraft could be increased to six in 2019.
These aircraft, coming from the current Lufthansa fleet, will be painted in Eurowings colours and will be based in Dusseldorf.
However, under the ACMI contract between the airlines, the cockpit and the cabin will be staffed by Brussels Airlines crew, some hundred persons who will be hired locally and need to have a good knowledge of German language.
Currently, Eurowings long-haul routes are operated by SunExpress aircraft (a joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines). Having Brussels Airlines to operate some of them thus represents a significant change of strategy in the Lufthansa/Eurowings Group.