As Eurowings is still occupied with the takeover of bankrupt Air Berlin, Thorsten Dirks does not have a concrete future plan for Brussels Airlines yet. The Eurowings CEO requested some extra time to develop future plans and a strategy. No major changes for Summer 2018, he will return to Brussels on 12 March.
“Lufthansa is looking for a ‘Belgian touch’, Brussels Airlines will remain anchored locally and there will be no ‘germanisation’“, the Eurowings CEO added. “And Brussels Airlines will stay within the Star Alliance group“, which Eurowings currently is not part of.
The trade unions have accepted the outstretched hand of the Eurowings CEO and will, for the time being, take no industrial action.
Timeline of 7 February 2018
11:05 Read on in our Brussels Airlines 2018 forum topic.
09:45 Eurowings will perform some changes in the European network of Brussels Airlines with a strong reduction of “night stops” (where the aircraft and the crew spend the night at the destination). A serious impact on the salaries of cabin and cockpit crew, Eurowings would seek compensation for this loss of salary.
09:30 Subcontracting companies are also waiting for more information: Sabena Aerospace (8-10% of turnover depend on Brussels Airlines), ground handling company Swissport (recently renewed a major contract of several tens of millions of euros over three years with Brussels Airlines) and Mobility Masters (cleaning 65,000 aircraft per year, including Brussels Airlines aircraft)
09:20 “Brussels Airlines will remain a Belgian company with a strong ‘Belgitude’ to focus on customers and employees, we don’t want a Belgian copy of Ryanair.” (quote Eurowings CEO Thorsten Dirks)
09:00 Brussels Airlines staff will now be informed on the future plans.
08:30 Financial newspaper De Tijd already knows more: Eurowings CEO Thorsten Dirks wants Brussels Airlines to become a Long Haul Centre of Excellence. Eurowings is planning to expand in Dusseldorf, with 140 additional long-haul flights, mainly to the United States. Eurowings needs the expertise of Brussels Airlines, as a successor of Sabena, and a specialist in flights to Africa.
Lufthansa’s CEO Carsten Spohr strongly believes that Africa will be the growth market for the Lufthansa group in the coming years. “Our network to Africa will definitely grow faster than our flights to other continents“, Spohr told journalists in Cape Town last week.
07:30 The extraordinary works council with the CEO of Eurowings Thorsten Dirks has started at Brussels to explain the joint Eurowings/Brussels Airlines strategy