What future for SN ????

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beaucaire
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What future for SN ????

Post by beaucaire »

While airlines like LX,AUA,SAS,TAP,Iberia,AZ try to settle their future by forcing attachments to either an alliance or sale to determne their future,SN seems headless,strategy-less,marketing-less,concept-less....
I've never encountered any airline in Europe (exept Luxair..) who seems to define their strategy as having no strategy!
Forging tons of code-share allliances with other airlines is not a strategy but a sign of weakness,since there are not enough aircraft in use under SN flag.
Their African network is interesting but not strong enough to sustain a future attack from AF/KLM,LH or LX.
SN has been far to hesitant ordering more metal and will pay a heavy price !!! Their European network is nothing special and feeder-set up from
Germany,France ,Scandinavia,Swiss to Africa is not strong enough.
I've the impression management has been sleeping for three years while other airlines have recognized their strenghts/weaknesses (look at TAP- what a brillant concept !!) and have drawn the conclusions.Even IB is up for sale,since they can't survive on their own! What are the guys in Diegem waiting for ????

foxtrot_lima_yankee
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Post by foxtrot_lima_yankee »

They are waiting for their end of the month.. like everyone


I think Brussels Airlines is gonna stay the way it is, keeping its minimal profits, while avoiding adventuring itself into big pies.
Brussels Airlines' fleet is too small to compete the big ones.
Alitalia, Air France, British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa all have 100+ aircraft while Brussels Airlines only has a miserable 39 or so, the most being short-haul aircraft. But this does not mean that the previously mentionned companies do make profits.
It is kind of comparing JAS (Japan Air Systems) of which little people here have ever heard the name with JAL or ANA. They flew their routes silently in the shadow of the big ones while making miserable profits.


We might all maybe not expect too much from this airline.
All we can do is support it as much as we can avoiding foreign LCCs departing from EBLG and EBCI.

Their only chance to the success is to become a LCC with decent service, a kind of Air Berlin, I think.

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Buzz
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Post by Buzz »

foxtrot_lima_yankee wrote:All we can do is support it as much as we can avoiding foreign LCCs departing from EBLG and EBCI.

Their only chance to the success is to become a LCC with decent service, a kind of Air Berlin, I think.
These days, most customers take the cheap flight over the nostalgic flag carrier... Counting on simpathy from customers is not a strategy either.

I flew BruAir in their first week, and except the fact that the flight left from BRU instead of CRL, I didn't notice any difference from my previous FR flights... The BruAir 737 had even less legroom than the FR one!

Persuing the LCC strategy might be an option, but that leaves them between 2 parts of the market.
Only time will tell if there is room for their new strategy.

bkonner
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Airline strategy

Post by bkonner »

Howdy,

Take a look at Midwest Express. Midwest Express is a small carrier based in Milwaukee and with it's Signature Service, provides an outstanding product that some will pay more for (including me). Midwest could never compete with Southwest or JetBlue. SN needs to think about its strategy. With the combination of Virgin and SN, it is not really clear what they want to become. It seems similar to BMI's strategy, or lack there of.

I have never flown SN, but what I have read about their service until the merger has been positive. They should look at the success of VLM, a carrier that is providing a nitch, and they are doing very well with it.

If they truly attempt to become a low cost carrier, I think they will not survive. There is no way a carrier of this size can compete with Ryan, EasyJet, and Air Berlin.

Bill

SN30952
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Post by SN30952 »

beaucaire wrote:While airlines like LX,AUA,SAS,TAP,Iberia,AZ try to settle their future by forcing attachments to either an alliance or sale to determne their future,SN seems headless,strategy-less,marketing-less,concept-less....
I've never encountered any airline in Europe (exept Luxair..) who seems to define their strategy as having no strategy!
imho* there is no disgrace in being a parochial airline.
Parochial but with a concept, could be the catch line.
I would have thought of Brussels Airlines more as a boutique airline. With more than a decent service, FLY.
foxtrot_lima_yankee wrote:They are waiting for their end of the month.. like everyone...... while Brussels Airlines only has a miserable 39 or so, the most being short-haul aircraft. Their only chance to the success is to become a LCC with decent service, a kind of Air Berlin, I think.
Are you comparing Air Berlin with Brussels Airlines?
You never heard of LTU, FLY?

PLS read also: Structural Changes Ahead for Europe's Airlines
Following its recent acquisition of LTU, Air Berlin is emerging as a strong rival not only on leisure-dominated routes, but also in important intra-European business markets.


*not so humble, in this matter, I confess :wink:

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sn26567
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Post by sn26567 »

Buzz wrote:I flew BruAir in their first week, and except the fact that the flight left from BRU instead of CRL, I didn't notice any difference from my previous FR flights...
Seat selection?
Advance check-in by Internet?
Free baggage allowance?
Newspapers availability on board?
Friendly service?
Large airports?
André
ex Sabena #26567

airazurxtror
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Post by airazurxtror »

foxtrot_lima_yankee wrote:

I think Brussels Airlines is gonna stay the way it is, keeping its minimal profits, while avoiding adventuring itself into big pies.


We might all maybe not expect too much from this airline.
All we can do is support it as much as we can avoiding foreign LCCs departing from EBLG and EBCI.
Why should we avoid the "foreign" LCC in favour of SN ?
- Service on board : same (paying drink and food)
- Help in case of delay or cancellation : same (that is to say : none - "trek ha plan" system - as seen at Dakar recently!)
- Price of a ticket : at least twice more expensive at SN.
- Because they are "foreign" ? But they are nearly all from countries fellow member of the European Union - Ryanair, for instance, is as European as Brussels Airways.
Let's don't fall again in too narrow a nationalism , please.

airazurxtror
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Post by airazurxtror »

sn26567 wrote:
Buzz wrote:I flew BruAir in their first week, and except the fact that the flight left from BRU instead of CRL, I didn't notice any difference from my previous FR flights...
Seat selection?
Advance check-in by Internet?
Free baggage allowance?
Newspapers availability on board?
Friendly service?
Large airports?
- seat attibution before boarding : you are right
- advance check-in : also possible with FR
- free baggage allowance : at FR, those who don't have hold baggage pay less.
- newspaper : at SN, you pay the "Le Soir" 1,50 euro instead of 1 euro at the Relay before boarding . I found it mean - for SN, there is no small profit, it seems !
- service : what is wrong with FR service ? I have always been happy and have never had cause to complain in more than 100 flights with them.
- large airport : right, with the long distances to walk before reaching the gate.

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sn26567
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Post by sn26567 »

airazurxtror wrote:Why should we avoid the "foreign" LCC in favour of SN ?
- Service on board : same (paying drink and food)
- Help in case of delay or cancellation : same (that is to say : none - "trek ha plan" system - as seen at Dakar recently!)
- Price of a ticket : at least twice more expensive at SN.
- Because they are "foreign" ? But they are nearly all from countries fellow member of the European Union - Ryanair, for instance, is as European as Brussels Airways.
I beg to disagree.
- Service on board: still smiling on SN, even in b.light, as recently experienced
- Price of a ticket: I just bought two tickets to BUD. Cost 102 EUR return, all in (i.e. 25.5 EUR per single segment, less than the BRU taxes alone!). Same as Sky Europe.
- Departure from BRU instead of CRL
- Seat selection and advance check-in on Internet
- 250 Privilege air miles per segment
- Belgian jobs, reducing unemployment in the country
André
ex Sabena #26567

airazurxtror
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Post by airazurxtror »

sn26567 wrote: - Belgian jobs, reducing unemployment in the country
Everybody is entitled to his own opinion and it is interesting to compare them.
But I can't let pass your above comment.
You imply that not flying Brussels Airways would induce unemployment in Belgium.
I beg you to consider that many Belgian have a job thanks to Ryanair : not only pilots and flight attendants, but also a lot of people who work at BSCA. Many of them would lose their job were Ryanair to pull out.

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lumumba
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Post by lumumba »

Hi everybody.
39 planes?It's 47 I think?
Regards
Pat
Hasta la victoria siempre.

Jense

Post by Jense »

sn26567 wrote:
Buzz wrote:I flew BruAir in their first week, and except the fact that the flight left from BRU instead of CRL, I didn't notice any difference from my previous FR flights...
1. Seat selection?
2. Advance check-in by Internet?
3. Free baggage allowance?
4. Newspapers availability on board?
5. Friendly service?
6. Large airports?
1. Indeed, on my flight I was able to choose my seat.
2. The first point that didn't work out: I filled in my criteria on the website,
but the login didn't work (though everything was exactly as it had to be filled in)
3. Indeed, that's an advantage.
4. Yes, newspapers are on board. But why do you make a point of it? They're just for sale and can be placed under "inflight shopping" imho.
And with a price of 1,50 EUR no thank you. I can live 2 hours without a newspaper really...
5. What exactly do you mean by this, André? Every company has a general reputation of being either "friendly" either "normal" either "unfriendly".
But on this subject, I wouldn't generalise too much since it depends on the crews really...
6. Why are large airports an advantage? I know what you mean and what you want to say, but it isn't always like that. Let us think of LHR, FRA, CDG... in most cases for example.

But please, don't see this as a post to complain about Brussels Airlines. I've paid 100,21 EUR for a NCE-BRU flight. I wasn't able to either drive to Brussels either fly to Charleroi with Rynair for that price.
No complaints at all in general...

SN30952
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Post by SN30952 »

airazurxtror wrote:
sn26567 wrote: - Belgian jobs, reducing unemployment in the country
You imply that not flying Brussels Airways would induce unemployment in Belgium.
I have met Belgians, working with AF, with KLM, with LH, with AA, with SA, with MH, with SQ, with CX, with TN.
All told me it was nice working there, and the pay was good or better than with SN.
I must also admit that most of them if not all were Flemish.
What is it that you do imply?

thofman2
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Post by thofman2 »

lumumba wrote:Hi everybody.
39 planes?It's 47 I think?
Regards
Pat
49 with the fourth A333 ...

3 A319
4 A333 (1 stored until ????)
10 B737 (5 300 & 5 400)
32 BAe / Avro RJ ( 6 BA 146-200, 12 BA RJ100 & 14 RJ85)

SN30952
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Post by SN30952 »

sn26567 wrote:- Belgian jobs, reducing unemployment in the country
I have more thoughts with things like dishonest competition and subsidies.
Like some HST aka TGV systems.
Some of their costs are and some are not paid by the tickets the passengers pay.
The Chunnel is a blatant example.
9billion Euro debt, and still going...
Imagine an airline with such debt?
A for that railway ticket we are only talking a ticket to London, or to Lille if you prefer.
Competing with airlines ignoring such debt is easy....
Note they almost killed the maritime.

Coming back to the subject: Is there still a niche for parochial airlines from Brussels. Same question can be asked: And from Luxemburg?

About Africa? from the day low cost gets going in and to Africa, the whole system will change. We see this already in Nigeria with Virgin. Artificially high fares can not survive in such 'low cost climate'. The times of colonial airlines has already ended a couple of years ago, with the alliances of african carriers and some majors. Colonial airlines are out of Africa.

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Gate-A1
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Post by Gate-A1 »

HST (tgv) are on the same level as other trains for subventions.

The national transport can get subsidies for public transport. However Internationnal are not. They must make profit. That the reason because a lot of them dissapeared.

Brussels-Paris was the only profitable relation without need of subsidies.

For The channel: The investors are mainly private persons because big compamies where not kind to invest in.

Instead of they agreed to make loans and made profits by selling the loan (bonds) to somes hedges funds. This company has too many debts to make bankrupt, it would be a major big mess in the finnncial markets.

But off topic about Brussels Airlines future.

fcw
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Post by fcw »

SN30952 wrote:I have more thoughts with things like dishonest competition and subsidies.
Like some HST aka TGV systems.
How low do you think BruAir will survive if one day the have to pay back the 100.000.000€ the governement gave them 5 years ago under the form of a loan for maximum 4 years. I would like to know if they pay intrest.
Another problem is the aging fleet and no money for replacement.
Should another 9/11 happen BruAir will probably be one of the first victims.

SN30952
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Post by SN30952 »

fcw wrote:Should another 9/11 happen BruAir will probably be one of the first victims.
To answer that statement in an acid way, one could say 9/11 happens only once a year, and this year it still has to come. (For good understanding, something I certainly not wish.) But an other event, particularly in the Gulf might be brewing.
But since BruAir has no stake elsewhere, as a niche operator in Europe, it might in a first swing not be harmed. But when the majors have to redevelop their capacity, because they cannot use it in the area where a crisis develops, then BruAir could be confronted with very difficult time.
The answer is: Bruair will probably not survive a middle long crisis of that kind.
Would it want to survive such scenario, or simply survive, BruAir imho should develop a strategy ouside Belgium, outside Europe.

My suggestion is to develop in the Middle East.
A neutral position of Belgium can create opportunities.

But since Andre mentioned BruAir would be for employment in Belgium, this plan would not even make it to the table of its board. Ainsi-soit-il?
Where only Tel Aviv seems to be practicable... Inch Allah.

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Post by sn-remember »

An interesting topic you raise there Beaucaire but not a new one.
I pleaded time and again for a strategic plan for Bru Air and each time got disappointed by the poor feedback.
So is this parochial entity a fatality or can things change ?

For things to change you need an entrepreneur spirit, meaning risking funds and buiding on confidence and competence.
While I am confident these conditions can be met in theory, in practice there is unfortunately not the policy nor the will to put them forward given the present BruAir structure.

6 years have been lost (not 3 as you generously conceded Beaucaire) and it's hard to bridge 6 yrs gap.
Of course it was a VERY big folly to dismantle the long haul network of Sabena that took decades to build and that potentially contained all the assets to make the new carrier rebounce.
Most obviously, imnsho ;o) this inconsiderate decision could only have been taken by guys who know very little about airlines industry.
Those people or most of them are still in charge now of BruAir's destiny I presume.
So no surprise and certainly nothing convincing to be expected in Diegem as most of you here tend to agree to.

Comparing BruAir with Luxair tells it all.
But Luxemburg is a very small place indeed and the Luxemburgers have nothing to be ashamed of concerning their flag carrier, quite the opposite imho. Luxair does its job as a small regional airline rather well although somehow perilously in the recent time. But you may be confident that the airline will manage keeping airborne.

And I wouldn't like to leave the LUXemburg topic without at least mentioning the extraordinary achievement of Cargolux which I remember was created under much scepticism in some Brussels circles and other places.
It seems "normal" now to most of us that Cargolux survives everyday as they survived in the past, but to me given the so many challenges and huge competition from everywhere, it is a sort of daily miracle and certainly an exemple for all entrepreneurs in the airlines field.

Back to BruAir or SNBA ... since this is the official topic ;o)
The only strategic advice I could give in all modesty is to rebuild what was Sabena strength in Africa, giving the continent the priority.
I would target the "critical operational mass" (if I may say so) around 7 daily rotations there.
To succeed they would need to open the airport as an african hub, finding the feeding not only from Europe but importantly from the NAtlantic flights for EAfrica and NEAsian flights (yet to come!) for WAfrica.
And should they fail finding the sufficient partners, they would have to consider operating these NA/NEAsia routes with their own metal (which could be a welcome diversification of the business)

This is all beautiful in theory you will say but in practice it's another story, I know.
One of the big issue, maybe the key to everything is the service level they will opt for reaching success. But wether it be the LC model or the full service or both, one thing is certain : they will need to impose their original product and brand to the whole world and make it convincing.
All a program !

Never forget that all successfull entreprises of today started with a bright dream !
And look around you in the airlines field all the dreams that have become a reality !
Good winds SNBA (or BruAir) ...

Best regards to all fellow luchtzakkers
Christophe

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beaucaire
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Post by beaucaire »

Thanks for your quite philosophical but very realistic answer.
I totally agree with you ,in that SN has remained a bureaucrat's airline and not a bold, entrepreneurial airline.
Their Long Haul network was once their key-asset all gone with the rational of downsizing and remaining a niche carrier company. Don’t make noise, don’t disturb, stay small but beautiful (???)
I like your comment about Cargolux, a very astonishing achievement out of a tiny country.
But again-some people there had bold visions and the guts to convert those visions into cash-flow ! I applaud them fully and without restraint.
SN –maintaining it’s current pace and philosophy ,will be history in a few years time.being just a niche –player is not good enough in today’s aeronautical field. You can be small and successful –look at VLM – but they found their market, product definition and implemented it 100%.
SN is too big to remain a small airline and too small to play like a big airline – so your comments about implementing a focus on feeder into Africa is –in my eyes-the only solution.
I have placed quite many comments about the lack of own metal within SN since many years-their policy to code-share with everybody who was landing their aircraft in Brussels was a laughable approach ,diluting the SN identity to a degree where it became ridiculous.
They lost too much time ordering aircraft allowing them to feed the ten ,twelve important airports in Africa that really count frequently and set up a network of African alliances.
Now it is to late – there are not enough aircraft available in the short term.

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