Lufthansa to fold Brussels Airlines into Eurowings from January 2017

Lufthansa to fold Brussels Airlines into Eurowings from January 2017

Lufthansa has confirmed it will exercise the call option for the outstanding 55 per cent of the shares it does not own in Brussels Airlines.

The call option will come into effect by the end of December, with the closing of the transaction will expected at the beginning of January 2017.

The price mechanism for the take-over of the remaining 55 per cent 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 per cent of the shares is €2.6 million, which will be paid to a consortium of 30 shareholders.

Carsten Spohr, chairman, Lufthansa AG: “Following the acquisition of the 45 per cent share of SN Airholding eight years ago, we now want to take a next step in our already very solid and successful cooperation.

ADVERTISEMENT

“As a longstanding shareholder and partner of Brussels Airlines, we are already closely linked to each other.

“Accordingly, we value Belgium and especially Brussels as highly attractive markets that perfectly complement our offer in the heart of Europe.

“In addition, Brussels Airlines has a competitive cost structure already 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.”

After the acquisition, Brussels Airlines will continue to operate its 23 long-haul destinations as well as 79 destinations within Europe under the umbrella of the Eurowings Group.

The brand ‘Brussels Airlines’ will 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 Airline market.

The current fleet harmonisation towards an Airbus A320 family fleet for the European network will be continued.

With its fleet of 42 short- and medium-haul aircraft and nine A330 long-haul aircraft, Brussels Airlines has significantly increased the number of its passengers.

From 2013 to 2015 only, this number has increased by 30 per cent to a total of 7.5 million passengers.

In the medium term, investments are planned to further improve the fleet-efficiency and increase the capacity on the short- and long-haul network.

In the past three years, Brussels Airlines has reduced its non-fuel unit costs by almost ten per cent and established sustainably efficient structures.

For the financial year 2015, the leading Belgian airline generated an operating profit of 43.4 million euros.

Spohr added: “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 – now also in Belgium.”