Brussels Airlines

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Brussels Airlines
Brussels Airlines logo.svg
Founded 7 November 2006
Commenced operations 25 March 2007
Hubs Brussels Airport
Frequent-flyer program Miles & More
Airport lounge HON and Senator Lounge
Alliance Star Alliance
Fleet size 47 (+3 orders)
Destinations 66
Company slogan 'We go the extra smile'
Parent company SN Airholding N.V./S.A. (100%)[1]
Headquarters Brussels Airport
Diegem, Machelen, Belgium
Key people Bernard Gustin (CEO)
Etienne Davignon (Chairman)

Brussels Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Belgium. It is headquartered on the grounds of Brussels Airport in Diegem, Machelen, Belgium, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of SN Airholding. It is the largest airline based in Belgium, operating to over 65 destinations in 20 European countries as well as long-haul flights to North America and East, Central, and West Africa. It operates charter services, maintenance and training of cockpit and cabin crew.[2] The airline is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Association of European Airlines (AEA), and Star Alliance. The Belgian airline is currently ranked as a 3 Star Airline by Skytrax. The Airline's IATA code is SN inherited from Sabena and SN Brussels Airlines.


Brussels Airlines was created following the merger of SN Brussels Airlines (SNBA) and Virgin Express. On 12 April 2005, SN Airholding, the company behind SNBA, signed an agreement with Richard Branson, giving it control over Virgin Express. On 31 March 2006 SNBA and Virgin Express announced their merger into a single company. On 7 November 2006, the new name, Brussels Airlines, was announced at a press conference at Brussels Airport. Brussels Airlines began operations on 25 March 2007.

On 15 September 2008, it was announced that Lufthansa would acquire a 45% stake in Brussels Airlines with an option to acquire the remaining 55% from 2011. As a part of this deal, Brussels Airlines would join Star Alliance, which happened on 9 December 2009.[3][4]

Avro RJ85 in SN Brussels Airlines livery landing at Birmingham International Airport, England. (2007)

On 15 June 2009, Brussels Airlines announced that the European Commission had granted approval for Lufthansa to take a minority share in Brussels Airlines. As a result of this clearance by the EU, the road was cleared for Brussels Airlines to join Star Alliance.[5]

Since 25 October 2009, Brussels Airlines has been a member of Lufthansa's frequent flyer programme Miles & More.

On 9 December 2009, Brussels Airlines became the 26th Star Alliance member during a ceremony at Brussels Town Hall.

On 15 December 2009, Brussels Airlines officially approved an extra A330. In July 2010, Brussels Airlines received this fifth leased A330.

On 15 December 2009, Brussels Airlines announced it was working on a new regional airline in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The name of the airline is "Korongo". The main base of the airline is at Lubumbashi in Congo. The airline was launched in April 2012. Brussels Airlines has cancelled the former airDC project, due to disagreements with Hewa Bora.

On 11 August 2010, Brussels Airlines and tour operator Club Med announced a new cooperation. As from April 2011, Brussels Airlines will transport 80% of all Club Med passengers out of Brussels, both on existing regular Brussels Airlines routes as on new charter routes operated by Brussels Airlines. Brussels Airlines also announced that it will lease 2 Airbus A320 aircraft from January 2011.[6]

On 26 August 2010, the company announced its new maintenance project. The contract with Sabena Technics for the A330 and Boeing 737 ended on 1 January 2011 and Brussels Airlines will then do the maintenance on the planes. To be able to do this, the move from Building 117 to Hangar 41 was necessary. Also, 73 people from Sabena Technics joined the Brussels Airlines maintenance staff.

On 30 January 2014, Brussels Airlines launched its most important expansion in its history, with nine confirmed seasonal destination and a return to the Polish market after some years of absence. It also confirmed the permanent exit of its Avro RJ100 fleet by 2016.


Brussels Airlines is the operating name of Brussels Airlines SA/NV (previously Delta Air Transport S.A./N.V.,[7] which has its registered office in Elsene-Ixelles, Brussels.[8] Previously the registered office was in a different area of Brussels.[7]

From 26 October 2008, the ICAO code was changed from DAT to BEL. On 3 June 2008, the CEO, Philippe Vander Putten resigned. The board appointed Michel Meyfroidt and Bernard Gustin as Managing Directors. Since the entry into the Star Alliance in 2009, Bernard Gustin & Michel Meyfroidt carried the titles 'Co-Chief Executive Officer'. In June 2012, Bernard Gustin became the only CEO, as Michel Meyfroidt then left the company. The Executive Committee consists of three members: Bernard Gustin (CEO), Lars Redeligx (CCO) and Jan De Raeymaeker (CFO).

Head office[edit], Brussels Airlines head office on the grounds of Brussels Airport and in Diegem, Machelen

The company is headquartered in the (Building 26) in the General Aviation Zone on the grounds of Brussels Airport and in Diegem, Machelen.[9][10][11] The airline asked the Belgian design agency MAXIMALdesign to design the interior of the facility.[12]


On European flights, the airline offers three types of tickets – b.flex economy+, b.light economy, and (business class):

  • b.light economy is a low cost formula, with a buy on board programme offering snacks and drinks for purchase. On flights operated by FlyBe and Tyrolean Airlines Q400's and Brussels Airlines' flights to Agadir, Marrakech and Moscow free drinks and a snack are also offered in b.light.
  • b.flex economy+ is the an economy plus class, offering full service, such as complimentary newspapers, catering, fast lane at security, change flexibility and priority boarding.
  • is a full-service Business class on the European network. It offers premium meals, free champagne and full flexibility.

On medium-haul and long-haul flights (Africa, United States and Tel Aviv), Brussels Airlines offers normal economy and business classes.


Brussels Airlines had 5.46 million passengers in 2008 and in the first year of operations (2007) as Brussels Airlines (after the merger between SN Brussels Airlines and Virgin Express), they carried 5.85 million passengers. Brussels Airlines transported 4.89 million passengers in 2010, this is a 4.4% increase[13] compared to the 4.7 million in 2009. 2011 proved to be a very successful year with a total of 5.69 million passengers, an increase of 16.3% compared to 2010. In 2012 a small increase of 1% was achieved to a total of 5.76 passengers carried. This increase was achieved mainly through the Africa-network (+10,1%) and the successful launch of a daily flight to New York JFK, the intra-European network lost 2%. In 2013 Brussels Airlines recorded a 2% growth towards 5.88 million passengers, an all-time record for the airline. The growth was achieved thanks to the introduction of a new route to Washington DC, more capacity to Africa and a higher load factor in Europe.[14]

Year Passengers Difference
2007 5.85 million /
2008 5.46 million – 6.7%
2009 4.67 million – 14.4%
2010 4.89 million + 4.4%
2011 5.69 million + 16.3%
2012 5.76 million + 1.0%
2013 5.88 million + 2.0%

Frequent flyer programme[edit]

Brussels Airlines is an integrated partner of Lufthansa's frequent flyer programme called Miles & More. Miles can be earned on all the flights operated by airlines which adhere to the programme, in addition to the Star Alliance member airlines.[15] Miles can also be earned thanks to Brussels Airlines' non-airline partners.[16]

Brussels Airlines customers have been able to earn Miles and More benefits since 25 October 2009,[17] when Brussels Airlines' former frequent flyer programme, Privilege, ended and became Miles & More. There was a conversion of Privilege Gold members into Miles & More Frequent Travellers, while Privilege Platinum card holders became Miles & More Senators. Privilege miles were converted on a 1 to 1 basis.


Brussels Airlines Avro RJ85 takes off from Birmingham International Airport, England. (2008)

On 5 July 2010, the fifth Airbus A330-300 entered into service. Brussels Airlines increased its frequency to Abidjan (up to 6 weekly) and added Accra, Cotonou, Ouagadougou, and Lomé as new destinations.

Brussels Airlines is adding more American destinations to its network. On 1 June 2012[18] Brussels Airlines inaugurated the route to New York JFK, operating daily with an Airbus A330-300 fitted with the new interior. This is the first Belgian airline in 10 years to fly to New York, after the collapse of Sabena and Delsey Airlines. From 18 June 2013 they will also fly 5 times a week to Washington Dulles[19] still with A330. Further potential destinations include San Francisco, and Boston.

Thin regional routes (to the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany and Switzerland) are operated by 3 FlyBe Bombardier Q400's.

Codeshare agreements[edit]

Brussels Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines (as of May 2014):[20]


A Brussels Airlines Airbus A330-200 at Zurich Airport in 2011, wearing a Swiss registration.

As of May 2014, the Brussels Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 13.4 years:[21][22]

Brussels Airlines Fleet

Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Routes Notes
J Y Total
Airbus A319-100 16[23] 3[24][25] 0 141 141 Europe, North Africa OO-SSC painted in Star Alliance livery
Airbus A320-200 6 0 0 168 168 Europe, Israel OO-SNC & OO-SND in Belgian Red Devils livery
Airbus A330-200 3 0 22 246 268 Africa, North America
Airbus A330-300 5 0 30 254 284 Africa, North America OO-SFO in Belgian Red Devils livery
OO-SFN in Tomorrowland livery
Avro RJ85 1 0 0 82 82 Europe Phase out autumn 2014[26]
Avro RJ100 12 0 0 97 97 Europe Phase out 2016[citation needed]
Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 3 0 0 78 78 Europe 2 leased from Flybe and 1 from Austrian Airlines[27]
Embraer ERJ-145 1[28] 0 0 49 49 Europe Leased from BMI Regional[29]
Total 47[30] 3
OO-SSG (Airbus A319) at Brussels Airport.
OO-DWC (Avro RJ100) lands at Bristol Airport


Brussels Airlines previously operated 6 BAe 146-200s. These aircraft exited service in 2008 and 4 of them were up for sale. Two of them (OO-DJG, OO-DJH) have been sold. One of them (OO-DJE) is still stored at Brussels Airport. Two other (OO-DJJ & OO-MJE) were mentioned for AirDC, but that project has been cancelled. Instead they went to the new airline Brussels Airlines together with other investors has started in Congo "Korongo". The last remaining (OO-DJF) has been scrapped.

During 2009, the airline tested the fuel burn reduction of the AeroTech Services B737 Wing Modification on one B737-400. After realizing favorable results, the airline modified three more B737s in May and June 2010.

On 1 and 2 February 2010, Boeing 737-400 OO-VEJ was ferried to the USA (Phoenix) to return to its lessor. On 22 February, Boeing 737-400 OO-VBR was ferried to Macau to return to the lessor.

During 2010, two Airbus A319 aircraft (OO-SSC and OO-SSD) joined Brussels Airlines' fleet. OO-SSC is Brussels Airlines first Star Alliance logo jet.

The first Airbus A320 for Brussels Airlines joined the fleet in February 2011 and made its first commercial flight on 23 April 2011. In April 2011, a second A320 was delivered. These two A320s (registered OO-SNA and OO-SNB) are the ex D-ALTC and D-ALTD of Air Berlin.[31]

In March 2011, Boeing 737-300 OO-LTM ended commercial service for Brussels Airlines and was painted in Korongo Airlines livery.

Brussels Airlines also took delivery of 5 Airbus A319 in 2011: OO-SSR and OO-SSQ (coming from Mexicana), OO-SSU and OO-SSV (coming from EasyJet) as well as OO-SSA (coming from Frontier).

With improving financial performances, rising cash reserves and a desire to reduce costs more rapidly, Brussels Airlines has accelerated their fleet replacement plan by ordering 12 aircraft in August 2011. Six A319s, four A320s and two A330-200s will be added to the fleet in the coming two years, with an additional two regional aircraft to be ordered. Such a plan will probably complete the exit of the Boeing aircraft from the fleet and accelerate the replacement of the Avro RJ85. The Avro RJ100 will be kept for some time, due to higher seat capacity.

Livery and callsign[edit]

The aircraft livery consists of a 'dotted B' logo on the tail, a light blue belly covering the whole aircraft's length, with the name 'Brussels Airlines' written in dark blue on the upper fuselage, preceded by the airline's 'b' logo. Most planes have an altered 'b' logo after superstitious travellers complained about the thirteen dots bringing bad luck.[32] The logo now contains fourteen dots. The Brussels Airlines call sign is Bee-Line.

Inflight Entertainment[edit]

Brussels Airlines has two inflight magazines. For the European network there is b-there! which is a monthly magazine. On the African network, the magazine is named b-spirit! and is published every two months. Both magazines are available on board or as a PDF download through their respective websites. The magazines are also available as a freely downloadable application for Apple's iPad.[33]

From November 2011 until the end of 2012 Brussels Airlines has introduced a new interior on the A330 fleet. The new economy seats feature AVOD personal in-flight entertainment 9 inch screens. Also business class got new lie-flat seats with an improved AVOD IFE system with 15 inch screens, coming from The IMS-Company and known as "RAVE".

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Flight International 27 March 2007
  3. ^ Official press release by Lufthansa
  4. ^ Official press release by Brussels Airlines
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ (Dutch) De Tijd: Club Med in zee met Brussels Airlines. (2010-10-28). Retrieved on 2010-11-06.
  7. ^ a b "General Conditions of Carriage". Brussels Airlines. Archived from the original on 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2008-06-17.  "“ WE ”, “ OUR ” “ OURSELVES ” and “ US ” means Delta Air Transport SA/NV, trading as Brussels Airlines and having its registered office at 11, Rue des Colonies -Koloniënstraat, 1000 Brussels, Belgium."
  8. ^ "Home." Brussels Airlines. Retrieved on 4 February 2012. "Brussels Airlines – zone General Aviation – – Airport Building 26 – Ringbaan – 1831 Diegem – Belgium Registered office: Brussels Airlines SA/NV – 100–102, Avenue des Saisons, box 30, 1050 Brussels, Belgium"
  9. ^ "Corp – Contact Us." Brussels Airlines. Retrieved on 23 October 2009.
  10. ^ "Africa is our passion." Brussels Airlines. Retrieved on 6 July 2011. "Brussels Airlines – zone General Aviation – – Airport Building 26 – Ringbaan – 1831 Diegem – Belgium"
  11. ^ "bedrijf.jpg." Machelen. Retrieved on 25 April 2010.
  12. ^ "Brussels Airlines • Rebranding and interior design of" Maximal Design. Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
  13. ^ "Brussels Airlines carries more passengers". 2011-01-13. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  14. ^ "Press Room". Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  15. ^ [2][dead link]
  16. ^ [3][dead link]
  17. ^ "Brussels Airlines is the newest Miles & More airline partner". Miles and More. 1 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  18. ^ "Brussels Airport Website: Brussels Airlines: inaugural flight to New York". 2012-06-01. Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  19. ^ "Flight tickets to Washington. Book your flight with Brussels Airlines". Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  20. ^ "Partner Airlines". Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  21. ^ Brussels airlines official fleet page, retrieved 27 July 2013.
  22. ^ Brussels Airlines fleet list at, retrieved 27 July 2013.
  23. ^ Plane Spotters Brussels Airlnes Fleet Info. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
  24. ^, retrieved 28 May 2014.
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Plane Spotters Brussels Airlnes Fleet Info. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ Plane Spotters Brussels Airlnes Fleet Info. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
  32. ^ BBC News: 'Unlucky' airline logo grounded
  33. ^ iPad Inflight Magazines. Retrieved 2011-09-07.

External links[edit]