Most profitable summer ever for Brussels Airlines, very strong full year profit expected for 2023

Brussels Airlines is investing in passengers, product and people thanks to positive results

Brussels, November 2, 2023 - The third quarter of 2023 was the most profitable quarter in the history of Brussels Airlines. The Adjusted EBIT was EUR 72 million, this is a year-on-year improvement by EUR 21 million. Although some challenges occurred, such as the temporary closure of the Niger airspace and the increasing fuel prices, Brussels Airlines was able to keep costs under control. This brings the Adjusted EBIT for the first nine months of the year to EUR 59 million. The airline can now confidently state that a record-breaking profit is expected for the full year of 2023.

Between July and September, Brussels Airlines carried 2.4 million passengers on a total of almost 18,000 flights, with a seat-load factor of 85.2%. 91 destinations were served in 40 countries.

Lessons learned from summer 2022 resulted in smoother operations during the same period of 2023. However, there were still some unforeseen elements, such as the closure of the Niger airspace, that heavily impacted the operations to sub-Saharan Africa. Some flights needed to be cancelled, others had to make detours resulting in extra flight time and fuel consumption. Brussels Airlines estimates that the political situation in Niger will cost the airline around EUR 4 million. Other challenges were increased fuel prices and overall inflation.

Despite all the above, Brussels Airlines was able to keep costs under control. The Adjusted EBIT of the third quarter was EUR 72 million. This is an increase of 41% compared to summer 2022 which was already a record-breaking quarter for Brussels Airlines.

“I would like to thank the entire team for achieving this result. Thanks to the agility of everybody at Brussels Airlines we can present record results, despite some operational hurdles. I am really proud of all our colleagues for going the extra mile, making sure we could operate as a reliable airline.” ​
- Nina Öwerdieck, Chief Financial Officer, Brussels Airlines

2023 will be a record-breaking year for Brussels Airlines

Although the year is not over yet and caution is still required, Brussels Airlines expects to achieve record-breaking full year results in 2023. The airline aims for the fourth quarter to be break-even, even if macroeconomic and geopolitical elements can still influence these results.

The overall capacity was still 15% below pre-covid levels. Strong profitability will allow the Belgian home carrier to continue closing this gap, with five brand-new A320neo aircraft1 and the tenth long-haul plane that will soon join the fleet.

I am very pleased that Brussels Airlines has achieved this historic turnaround. A profitable and strong Brussels Airlines allows us to invest in our network, services for our customers and to be an attractive employer for today’s and future employees. Our renewed Sunrise Lounge, extras on board of our flights, new uniforms and a new crew room are only a few examples. I am convinced we will continue our path towards sustained profitability.”
- Dorothea von Boxberg, Chief Executive Officer, Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines also expands its workforce to support its growth throughout all departments such as maintenance and engineering, IT, cockpit and cabin crew. The airline currently has about 240 open positions and expects to recruit around 360 new colleagues in 2024. In total, Brussels Airlines currently employs 3,392 people, an increase of more than 5% year-on-year.

1 Of which the first one was delivered on November 1st 2023 (press release)

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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