Hans Van Bylen and Catherine Vandenborre join SN Airholding Board of Directors

Deutsche Lufthansa AG, shareholder of SN Airholding, has approved the appointment of a new chairperson and two new Directors in the Board of Directors of SN Airholding, the holding company above Brussels Airlines. As of 25 November, Christina Foerster, member of the Lufthansa Group Executive Board, will be the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors. Former Henkel CEO Hans Van Bylen and Elia CFO Catherine Vandenborre join the Board as representatives of the Belgian federal government, bringing their vast economic expertise to their role as board members. Etienne Davignon and co-chairman Jan Smets leave their duties on the board.

Previously CEO and CCO of the Belgian airline, Christina Foerster will be appointed chairwoman of the SN Airholding Board of Directors. Together with Jan Smets, she shared the chairmanship until now. Etienne Davignon (since 2 September 2020) and Jan Smets (effective 24 November 2020) pass the torch on to two other Belgian nationals: Hans Van Bylen, former CEO of Henkel and Catherine Vandenborre, Chief Financial Officer at Elia. Both bring extensive experience to the table. The two appointments are part of the agreement with the Belgian government on the financial stabilization package that was concluded on 2 September 2020.

Christina Foerster: “I want to sincerely thank Jan Smets and Etienne Davignon for their immense contributions and dedication. Etienne Davignon has truly helped shape Brussels Airlines from its very beginnings. We welcome Hans Van Bylen and Catherine Vandenborre who without a doubt will be invaluable to the future successes of Brussels Airlines. We are confident that with this new setup of the SN Airholding Board, Brussels Airlines is set to further develop a sustainable future within the Lufthansa Group as one of the four Network Airlines and the Africa specialist within the group, building on the potential of Brussels and Belgium as an important aviation hub and on the decades long experience on the African continent.”


The new board composition will take effect as from 25 November:

  • Christina Foerster, Member of the Lufthansa Group Executive Board Customer, IT & Corporate Responsibility and former CEO/CCO of Brussels Airlines (Chairwoman)
  • Hans Van Bylen, former CEO of Henkel
  • Catherine Vandenborre, Chief Financial Officer at Elia
  • Heike Birlenbach, Head of Sales Network Airlines and CCO of Lufthansa airline
  • Jörg Beissel, Head of Corporate Controlling at Deutsche Lufthansa AG

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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.

More information on brusselsairlines.com 

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.

More information on staralliance.com


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