Green light for Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines: the European Commission has approved the merger of the two airlines.
Approval from the EU Competition Authority smooths the way for the acquisition by Lufthansa of an initial 45 per cent stake in SN Airholding SA/NV, the parent company of Brussels Airlines. Lufthansa also has approval, from 2011, after securing the airline’s air traffic rights, to exercise its buyout option for the remaining 55 per cent of share capital, thereby completing the full takeover of Brussels Airlines. The transaction is due to be finalized by the end of June 2009.
Brussels Airlines was founded in November 2006. As SN Brussels Airlines it was the successor company to Belgian carrier Sabena, founded in 1923, which had to file for bankruptcy in 2001. SN Brussels Airlines merged with Virgin Express in 2006.
The airline is owned by a consortium of 40 Belgian investors. Lufthansa is the largest shareholder with a 45% stake.
In its first year of operation as Brussels Airlines, the company carried 5.8 million passengers. The airline, which has its headquarters in Brussels, employs around 3,000 people.
The Brussels Airlines’ hub is Brussels Airport. In Germany the airline serves Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt/Main and Munich.
Brussels Airlines has excellent connections from Brussels to more than 70 attractive destinations in Europe and Africa. It deploys a modern fleet of 45 aircraft on these routes.
On its European routes Brussels Airlines offers a low-fare product (b.light economy) and a highly flexible product that provides time savings and comfort at reasonable prices (b.flex economy +). The airline also offers an attractive business product on all flights.
Brussels Airlines maintains numerous bilateral cooperation agreements with other airlines in order to provide a more extensive route network. These airlines are:
Swiss- American Airlines - Jet Airways - Lot - Malev - Finnair - Malmö Aviation - Etihad - El Al - Hainan Airlines - Alitalia - British Airways - Cyprus Airways - Air Malta - Rossiya - Ukraine International Airlines - Airlines - Tarom - Air Senegal International - Royal Air Maroc - FlyLal - Air Baltic - Ethiopian Airlines - Iberia - Adria Airways.
Coordinated scheduling, leading to improved connections at the Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich and Brussels hubs, is just one of the benefits which customers will be able to enjoy in future. Today, passengers of Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines already benefit from a partnership of the two carriers, as Brussels Airlines prepares to join the Star Alliance.
Since the start of the summer timetable, fares offered by both carriers on cross-border routes have also been combinable. Customers of either airline, who are in possession of a return ticket for a flight between Belgium and Germany, can therefore take one flight with Lufthansa and the other with Brussels Airlines.
Miles & More
Brussels Airlines has been a Miles & More partner since 29 March 2009.
Status customers of Brussels Airlines have also benefited since then from additional privileges, such as an increased free baggage allowance, priority baggage handling, lounge access and the use of dedicated check-in counters.