Brussels Airlines posts strong results in third quarter with Adjusted EBIT of 51 million euro

The Belgian airline will repay state loan early and grow strongly in 2023

Brussels, October 27 - Brussels Airlines closes its third quarter of 2022 at 51 million euro, which is the highest quarterly result in its 20-year history. In addition, the airline will repay the state loan early, by the end of this year. The Belgian home-carrier welcomed almost 50% more passengers compared to the same period in 2021. Looking forward, Brussels Airlines aims for strong and profitable growth by expanding its fleet, hiring new employees in all its departments and continuing to collaborate positively with its social partners.

During the third quarter of 2022, Brussels Airlines welcomed 2.28 million passengers on board its flights. This accounts for a rise of almost 50% compared to the same period last year.

The airlines’ revenue also increased during the third quarter, amounting to EUR 436 million. This brings the Year-to-date result to EUR 888 million, whereof nearly half was earned in the last quarter.

Both of the above results are to be explained by the combination of upcoming business traffic and the further recovery of the demand for leisure travel, where again a prolonged summer is noted.

Operating expenses increased to EUR 408 million, mainly due to the higher production volume, the strong position of the dollar and a steep increase of the costs of fuel, personnel, airport fees and other taxes.

As a result, the Adjusted EBIT for the third quarter of 2022 amounted to EUR 51 million.

“With an Adjusted EBIT of 51 million euro in the third quarter, we achieved the best quarterly performance in our history. Our turnaround program REBOOT Plus and the according cost savings have proven to be successful. Our company has shown that it can fly profitably even considering the challenging economic reality.”
Nina Oewerdieck, Chief Financial Officer at Brussels Airlines
“I wish to thank all our employees for giving their everything this summer and keeping our customers at the center of their attention. We know this positive result will not be enough to end the year break-even, yet we have proven that we are capable of turning the tides and I am convinced that we can make our future a success.”
Nina Oewerdieck, Chief Financial Officer at Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines repays state loan by end of 2022
In July 2020, the Belgian Federal Government granted a stabilization package of EUR 290 million to Brussels Airlines to overcome the unprecedented crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and to create a sustainable future. Today, the Belgian airline announced the repayment of this loan by the end of the year, with the support of the Lufthansa Group.

“We want to thank the Belgian government for their confidence and support. The repayment of the state loan is a clear sign of trust from the Lufthansa Group in our way forward. With this capital injection they confirm their belief that a profitable future for Brussels Airlines is within reach.” ​
Peter Gerber, CEO at Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines expands its fleet ​
In order to reinforce its position as market leader at Brussels Airport, the Belgian airline will expand its fleet in 2023 with 4 medium haul aircraft. While the modalities for the fleet expansion are still being finalized, it is clear that the company will amongst others increase its traffic to neighboring countries as well as optimize its European point-to-point and feeder network.

Together with the two medium haul and the one long haul aircraft that assumed operations earlier this year, this will bring the Brussels Airlines fleet to 36 medium haul and 9 long haul aircraft next summer, compared to respectively 30 and 8 in 2020, as was decided in REBOOT Plus. With this fleet, network and staff expansion, the Belgian airline achieves its intended growth four years earlier than planned.

More details about the fleet expansion and network reinforcement will be known and communicated in the coming weeks.

“The reorganization of our company in 2020 was inevitable and allowed for a significant decrease of our costs at a time when it was absolutely necessary for survival. This summer we have proven to be able to operate profitably. We are in the right position to grow, and this growth will allow us to strengthen our market position, while also lowering the unit cost.”
Peter Gerber, CEO Brussels Airlines

Partial come back of business traffic still expected
During the fourth quarter, Brussels Airlines is expecting a further come back of the business traffic. While some sectors like the public sector and the marine business have fully restarted travelling, some others are still travelling at a slower pace. Brussels Airlines expects to reach 80% of the 2019 levels when it comes to business traffic.

Aiming for profit in 2023
Due to the difficult first half of the year and the accumulated losses, still heavily impacted by the pandemic and the tremendous rise of fuel costs, Brussels Airlines will not reach a break-even for the full year. For 2023, the airline still aims for a positive result.

Brussels Airlines and its social partners continue to work on the future
Besides the aspired growth for 2023, the airline already grew with one long haul and two medium haul aircraft in the past quarter. The hiring campaign that followed accordingly has reconfirmed the employer’s attractiveness with over 12,000 applications (of which more than 1,800 pilot candidates) leading to almost 300 new hires. Brussels Airlines now counts 3,217 employees.

“Next to the competitive cost position, the collaborative relationship established over the summer with the social partners is essential to guarantee a future for Brussels Airlines. If we succeed in maintaining that cost position and avoid social conflicts while we grow next year, I am convinced we can make it to a profitable future.”
Peter Gerber, CEO Brussels Airlines

Maaike Andries

For media requests only

Joëlle Neeb

For media requests only


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About Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines is the home carrier of Belgium and one of the four network airlines of the Lufthansa Group. It connects the European capital from Brussels Airport with over 85 destinations, 17 of which are in Sub Saharan Africa. The company employs more than 3,300 people and operates 43 aircraft.

Brussels Airlines aims to emit 50% less CO2 by 2030 compared to 2019 and plans to be carbon neutral by 2050. The airline is participating in the Stargate Project led by Brussels Airport and is therefore part of the testing ground for sustainable aviation at its home base. In addition, the airline signed the Circular Economy agreement of the Antwerp Management School in 2021. The airline was the first to transport Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) through the CEPS-pipeline connecting Brussels Airport early 2023. By end 2024, Brussels Airlines will have welcomed five state-of-the-art Airbus A320neo allowing the airline to significantly lower its CO2- and noise-emissions on its medium-haul network.

As an ambassador of its country, Brussels Airlines brings the world to Belgium and the best of Belgium to the world, among others through collaborations with Belgian Star Chefs, Belgian culinary products and the Belgian Icons, specially painted aircraft that honour a Belgian iconic person, team or event to promote Belgian culture worldwide.

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About Star Alliance

The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance, based on a customer value proposition of global reach, worldwide recognition and seamless service. Since inception, it has offered the largest and most comprehensive airline network, with a focus on improving customer experience across the Alliance journey.

Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 10,000 daily flights to almost 1,200 airports in 184 countries.

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