Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines: Shaping the future together

Deutsche Lufthansa AG takes over 100 percent of SN Airholding

As of 2018, Brussels Airlines will be fully integrated into the Lufthansa Group and join the Eurowings Group. The unique characteristics of Brussels Airlines, including its attractive Brussels market, its well established Africa network and its advantageous cost structure which has allowed the leading Belgian airline to successfully compete with the tough low-cost competition in the Belgian market, will further strengthen the Lufthansa Group and Eurowings Group market position.

After the agreement of Lufthansa and the shareholders of SN Airholding on the modalities of the complete take-over, Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s Executive Board decided yesterday to exercise the call option for the outstanding 55 percent of the shares. The call option comes into effect by 31 December 2016. The closing of the transaction will happen by the beginning of January 2017.

The price for the take-over of the remaining 55 percent of the shares had already been part of the agreement for the call option in 2008. The price for the acquisition of the remaining 55 percent of the shares is 2.6 million euro, which will be transferred to a consortium of 30 shareholders. 

Following the acquisition of the 45% share of SN Airholding eight years ago, we now want to take a next step in our already very solid and successful cooperation. As a longstanding shareholder and partner of Brussels Airlines, we are already closely linked to each other. Therefore we value Belgium and especially Brussels as highly attractive markets that perfectly complement our offer in the heart of Europe. In addition, Brussels Airlines already has a very competitive cost structure and brings a well-established long-haul network, especially to and from Africa, to the Lufthansa Group portfolio. We also very much appreciate the high qualification, motivation and performance of the 3,500 Brussels Airlines employees."

-- Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Deutsche Lufthansa AG 

After the acquisition, Brussels Airlines will operate its 23 long-haul destinations as well as 79 destinations in Europe under the umbrella of the Eurowings Group. The brand Brussels Airlines will over time be complemented by the claim “member of the Eurowings Group”. The common goal of Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines is to further strengthen the market position in the Belgian aviation market.

Brussels Airlines' current fleet harmonization towards an Airbus A320 family fleet for the European network will be continued. With its fleet of 42 short- and medium-haul aircraft, including two in wetlease, and nine A330 long-haul aircraft, Brussels Airlines has significantly increased its passenger numbers. Between 2013 and 2015, this number has increased by 30% to a total of 7.5 million passengers. Medium-term investments are planned to further improve the fleet efficiency and increase the capacity on the short- and long-haul networks.

In the past three years, Brussels Airlines reduced its overall costs by 15% and established efficient sustainable structures. For the fiscal year of 2015, the leading Belgian airline generated an operating profit of 43.4 million euros. With the full integration of Brussels Airlines, synergies will add up to a mid-double digit million euro amount per year.

“Over the past eight years, our collaboration with Lufthansa has proven its potential to create perspectives and safeguard jobs. More than ever, consolidation in the aviation business is key. Joining the Lufthansa Group allows us to further increase our synergies, while keeping our specificities. Operating under the umbrella of Lufthansa will help us to further strengthen our competitiveness within a tough market environment and develop our long-haul and short-haul operations. Furthermore, the Lufthansa Group power enables us to expand our Africa-reach, by positioning Brussels as the Sub-Saharan Africa Hub of the Lufthansa Group.” 

-- Viscount Etienne Davignon, Chairman of the Board of SN Airholding

With its expertise and experience and based on its hybrid focused hub model, Brussels Airlines will assume an important role in the further development of the Eurowings Group into a pan-European platform with a large long-haul and short-haul network. In order to personally follow up the integration process, the Chairman of the Board of the Deutsche Lufthansa AG Carsten Spohr will join the Brussels Airlines Board as Co-Chairman, next to Viscount Etienne Davignon. In 2017, Lufthansa will hold the majority in the Board. However, during this period, the Board will make its decisions by consensus. Concerning the three current Belgian directors of the Brussels Airlines Board, the Board co-opted Bernard Marchant, CEO of the Group Rossel, as replacement for Luc Coene, who presented his resignation for personal reasons. Etienne Davignon: “We wish to thank Luc Coene for his exceptional contribution to our company and this from the start and welcome Bernard Marchant as new member in our Board.”

The Brussels Airlines Management Board remains unchanged under the leadership of CEO Bernard Gustin. In addition an Advisory Council will be established and will support the integration process.

"As the leading aviation group, we have already demonstrated on several occasions that, during the expansion process of our airline group, we fully respect the interests of the respective domestic markets. We want to further sustainably strengthen the important aviation location of Brussels and continue to improve the connectivity of the European capital. Based on its successful development, Brussels Airlines is able to play a leading role in bringing our pan-European point-to-point offer under the brand of the Eurowings Group to new successful heights. Together, we will be successful for our customers, shareholders and employees – and this especially for Belgium."

-- Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Deutsche Lufthansa AG 


Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.

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 90 destinations, 18 of which are in Sub Saharan Africa. The company employs more than 3,400 people and operates 44 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 

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 17,000 daily flights to over 1,200 airports in 190 countries.

More information on

Contact Zone General Aviation - Airport Building 26 1831 Diegem

+32 2 723 89 90