Lufthansa has taken over Brussels Airlines acquiring the remaining 55 per cent of the shares at a cost of 2.6 million euros ($2.7 million).
Brussels Airlines will be fully integrated into the Lufthansa Group in 2018 joining the Eurowings Group, which Lufthansa says will strengthen its market position. Lufthansa had acquired a 45 per cent share in SN Airholding, Brussels Airlines’ parent company in 2008.
It will continue to operate its 23 long-haul destinations and 79 in Europe under the umbrella of the Eurowings Group, and the Brussels Airlines brand will be complemented with ‘Member of the Eurowings Group’.
Lufthansa chief executive officer (CEO) and chairman of the executive board, Carsten Spohr says: “We value Belgium and especially Brussels as highly attractive markets that perfectly complement our offer in the heart of Europe. In addition, Brussels Airlines has a competitive cost structure already and brings a well-established long-haul network, especially to and from Africa, to the Lufthansa Group portfolio.”
Brussels Airlines chairman of the board, Viscount Etienne Davignon adds: “Together we are able to further strengthen our competitiveness within a tough market environment and develop our long-haul and short-haul operations. We will supplement the Lufthansa Group’s network with our important long-haul and transfer traffic to Africa and want to enhance our strong position.”
The news has been welcomed by Brussels Airport Company, as it will become an Africa hub for the Lufthansa Group.
Brussels Airport Company CEO, Arnaud Feist says: “The integration within an international group such as Lufthansa will give Brussels Airlines more commercial opportunities, advantages to renew the fleet and further develop its network in Africa, North-America and India.”
“The anchoring and further development of a strong home carrier is crucial to the connectivity, the employment and the economy in general of our company.”