“This year, Brussels Airlines will not add new long-haul destinations. There is a chance that the brand name ‘Brussels Airlines‘ will disappear on our European network,” Brussels Airlines CEO Christina Foerster told Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique. Some interesting news for plane spotters: in May, the airline will introduce a new special livery. A sixth Belgian icon?
Rumours about changing the Brussels Airlines brand name – the airline is being integrated into Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings – have been around for quite some time. “It’s clear that we want to create a pan-European network, we can’t keep every individual brand,” says Foerster. “Hence, on medium-haul the name could change. We are still discussing the long-haul brand name.”
The airline may get a different name, but it will still continue to be a Belgian company. A name change does not mean that jobs are lost. “On the contrary, we continue to recruit in Belgium,” the CEO announces. “We plan to hire around 200 new employees in 2019.”
The CEO also repeats that Brussels Airlines needs to become more profitable, a message that is also coming from Lufthansa Group, the parent company. “We are no longer in immediate danger, but we are not in calm water like other airlines of the group, for instance Lufthansa and SWISS.”
In 2019, no new long-haul destinations will be launched. The airline needs to improve profitability on the current long-haul network first. Foerster regrets the reduction of flights to Kinshasa from seven daily flights to just four flights per week. In February 2018, the airline was forced to reduce the capacity on request by the Congolese Aviation Authorities. The CEO hopes to fly more often to the Congolese capital as soon as possible.
For several months now, Brussels Airlines’ passenger figures are integrated into the Eurowings statistics. In 2018, Brussels Airlines transported well above 10,000,000 passengers. An increase of 10.5% compared to 2017.
Finally, Foerster confirmed that the airline will unveil another special livery aircraft in May 2019.
22 January 2019