2007 financial results
In 2007, a year of transformation for Brussels Airlines, the airline realised a consolidated net profit of €23.1 million. Revenues rose from €903.1 to €921 million. High fuel prices, growing inflation, lower consumer confidence and increased competition will have a negative effect on the 2008 result.
2007 was a year of major changes for Brussels Airlines. On 25 March 2007, the two brands SN Brussels Airlines and Virgin Express made way for a single brand: Brussels Airlines, which arrived on the market with a new product philosophy and a modified range of flights and codeshares.
Other outstanding facts of the elapsed year included the expansion of the long-haul fleet with an additional Airbus A330-300 and the introduction of regular flights to Bujumbura and Ljubljana. A hub to India was also created at Brussels Airport in partnership with Jet Airways.
During the past year, the airline’s activities were grouped in its new "b.house" headquarters by the airport. The social negotiations linked to the merger of all the departments were completed successfully. Check-in services in Brussels Airport as well as Airbus fleet engineering were fully in sourced during the year.
After the start-up period, customer satisfaction continued to grow month after month. The new range of products was immediately endorsed by the travel sector in Belgium, which awarded the airline its awards for 'Best Short Haul Airline' and 'Best Long Haul Airline'.
According to official statistics from the AEA (Association of European Airlines), Brussels Airlines was also one of the most punctual airlines in 2007.
Brussels Airlines welcomed 108,000 additional passengers in 2007. In total, 5.8 million travellers selected a flight operated by Brussels Airlines or a flight operated by a partner airline using the SN code.
In Europe, the number of passengers rose slightly despite increased competition. Flights from and to Africa recorded a rise in customers by nearly 8%.
The group’s revenues rose from €903.1 million in 2006 to €921 million in 2007. The consolidated net profit is up from €13.9 to €23.1 million.
A weaker dollar compared to the euro was a significant positive contributor to this result. The fuel hedging policy made it possible to partially offset the impressive increase in oil prices in 2007.
Brussels Airlines employs 3,000 people in Belgium and abroad and is the source of numerous indirect jobs, in particular in Brussels Airport and among its suppliers (handling, catering, etc.).
Brussels Airlines is by far the biggest operator in its home port of Brussels Airport. 'The Brussels Airport Company' generates over €75 million in annual receipts thanks to Brussels Airlines’ activities. These include passenger taxes, landing duties, the hire of buildings, advertising, the 'fast lane' service, check-in counters, airport infrastructure, etc.
Moreover, Brussels Airlines passengers generate much additional income (shops, car parks, restaurants, taxis, bus, hotels, train, etc.) from which the airport operator also derives a benefit through operating licences.
In 2007, Brussels Airlines made major efforts that benefit the airport. The hub concept established in partnership with Jet Airways is one of the numerous examples of these. Brussels Airlines was the first airline to offer a rapid access service to security checks (fast lane), which passengers appreciate a lot. With the airport, we have also created a dedicated check-in zone with a Brussels Airlines look and feel inside the departure hall.
Prospects for 2008
The high prices of fuel, increased competition, the excess capacity which appeared on some routes leaving from Brussels, inflation and the overall fall in consumer confidence will have a negative influence on the 2008 result. In this context, Brussels Airlines is taking the required measures to lower its costs and to safeguard its position in the market.
The range of services to passengers is also being expanded thanks to opportunities to check in online. At present, one passenger out of five leaving from Brussels Airport already checks in himself online or by using the automatic terminals installed in the airport.
This spring, we are increasing flight frequencies to different destinations to offer passengers an even wider choice of dates and flying schedules. A Boeing 737 and an Airbus A 319 have been added to the fleet.
During the spring, the Congolese airline airDC, in which Brussels Airlines holds a stake, will begin its flight operations. Thanks to airDC, Brussels Airlines’ offering of destinations in the Congo will be expanded significantly, with connections towards several main cities and regions in the interior of the country.