Brussels Airlines improves full year results 2022 by 115 million euro
This brings the result to -74.1 million euro adjusted ebit
- In 2022, Brussels Airlines welcomed 6.8 million passengers (+ 96% year-on-year)
- The airline’s revenue increased to 1,217 million euro (+117% year-on-year)
- More than 300 new employees joined the Belgian carrier
- Brussels Airlines is ahead of its business plan with the early repayment of the Belgian stabilization package, its fleet growth & renewal and network expansion
Brussels - Friday, March 3, 2023 - Brussels Airlines closes 2022 at -74.1 million euro, an improvement of 115 million euro compared to the previous year. Thanks to its restructuring, the Belgian airline is set up with a competitive cost position to face the future. Moreover, and despite the challenges of 2022, the airline is ahead of its business plan which is translated into fleet growth, hiring of new employees and early repayment on December 15, 2022 of the stabilization package granted by the Belgian government, thanks to the support of Lufthansa Group.
The first months of 2022 were still influenced by the consequences of Omicron. The six strike days spread over the year also had a considerable impact on the overall results. Moreover, skyrocketing inflation and high fuel costs continued to influence the airline’s results which were only partially leveled out by additional revenues.
The strong profitable second half of the year - including the highest quarterly result between July and September in Brussels Airlines’ 20-year history - wasn’t sufficient to balance the accumulated losses in the first six months of 2022.
Number of passengers double in 2022
Last year, Brussels Airlines welcomed 6.8 million passengers on board of its flights. This accounts for a rise of 96% compared to 2021.
The airlines’ revenue also increased during 2022, amounting to EUR 1,217 million. This is a year-to-year improvement of 117%.
The results are a clear sign of the strong wish of passengers to travel again, which shows in the further recovery of leisure travel.
Operating expenses increased to EUR 1,363 million, mainly due to the higher production volume, a steep increase of the costs of fuel, a strong position of the dollar and the inflation which had an impact on almost all cost positions.
As a result, the Adjusted EBIT for 2022 amounted to EUR -74.1 million.
“Looking back on 2022, there clearly were challenges to overcome such as the Omicron wave, the six days of strike or the skyrocketing inflation resulting amongst others in an automatic salary indexation of about 12% in Belgium. Despite these hurdles, I am proud to say that Brussels Airlines is ahead of its business plan whether it comes to our fleet growth, the hiring of new employees or the repayment of the state aid to the Belgian government.”
Nina Öwerdieck, Chief Financial Officer at Brussels Airlines
Africa remains stronghold, even within challenging times
Brussels Airlines has a long tradition of flying from and to the African continent, which is a sector that continued to perform well, even during the Omicron wave.
The last six months of 2022, the seat occupancy factor reached the record pre-covid levels again, at 85%.
With the addition of a 9th long-haul aircraft, the Belgian airline reinforced its position in West Africa with the opening of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and Conakry (Guinea). This brings the number of destinations to sub-Saharan Africa to 17. Of those, Dakar (Senegal), Kinshasa (DRC), Douala (Cameroon), Entebbe (Uganda) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast) are connected on a daily basis. An additional 14 destinations in sub-Saharan Africa are covered with the other Lufthansa Group carriers.
More than 300 new colleagues joined in 2022
In 2022, the airline welcomed more than 300 new employees which brings the total number to almost 3,250. At the moment, there are still about 100 open vacancies throughout all departments of the Belgian carrier.
In 2023, Brussels Airlines also continues to invest in its employees and creates a new crew room at the airport which enables a much smoother start of work duties, aims to introduce a new uniform at the end of the year and proposes a continuous training offer.
“The summer of 2022 was without a doubt a challenging one due to the rapid ramp up of the airline industry. I want to thank our colleagues who all went above and beyond for our passengers. It is thanks to them that we managed to get through the summer relatively smooth. We have also been in a continuous dialogue with our union delegates and are happy to announce an agreement was found with the cockpit colleagues. We are confident the same will apply for our other communities as we are making good progress. We thank our social partners for the constructive exchanges and believing in the shared responsibility of the future of our airline.”
Nina Öwerdieck, Chief Financial Officer at Brussels Airlines
Focus on fleet renewal, growth and sustainability in 2023
In order to reinforce its position as market leader at Brussels Airport, the Belgian airline will also expand its fleet in 2023 with four medium-haul aircraft. Of the four additional aircraft, two A320’s will permanently join the Brussels Airlines’ fleet. Next to that, the carrier will join forces with wet lease company CityJet, which will fly two CRJ aircraft throughout the summer period. These smaller aircraft with 85 to 100 seats will operate flights to secondary markets such as Bordeaux (France) and Billund (Denmark), allowing these areas to be linked to the airline’s intercontinental and European network.
This will bring the Brussels Airlines’ fleet to 36 medium-haul and 9 long-haul aircraft, compared to respectively 30 and 8 after the restructuring in 2020. With this fleet and network expansion, the Belgian airline achieves its intended growth three years earlier than planned.
Moreover, the carrier will for the first time in its history welcome three brand new A320neos in 2023 and two additional ones in 2024. These aircraft will replace older A319’s and A320’s.
Fleet renewal and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) are the most powerful levers to reduce the CO2 and noise emissions from flights. In that respect, Brussels Airlines was proud to be the first airline to transport SAF through NATO’s CEPS-pipeline on the very first day of 2023.
Since May 2022, passengers of Brussels Airlines can contribute to buying SAF or partially offset their flight. Since February 15th this year, with the introduction of “Green Fares” for all flights to and from Europe and North Africa, Brussels Airlines is raising widespread awareness among passengers that they, too, can help reduce the impact that flying has on our planet.
The Belgian carrier aims for a solid black number for the upcoming year
In 2023, continuously high fuel prices and the consequences of indexation will have an influence on the airline’s result. In addition, for the future it is crucial to come to a level playing field in the Belgian market. However, Brussels Airlines is confident to reach sustainable profitability for the upcoming years.