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Brussels Airlines: New A320neo and Record Profits for Summer

Brussels Airlines is reporting the most profitable summer ever for Brussels Airlines, with solid full-year profit expected for 2023. A brand-new aircraft, the A320neo, joins the Brussels Airlines fleet.

A Record-Setting Summer

Brussels Airlines record-setting summer.

From July to September, Brussels Airlines carried approximately 2.4 million passengers on nearly 18,000 flights, with an impressive seat occupancy rate of 85.2%. They served a total of 91 destinations across 40 different countries.

As Brussels Airlines reflected on the summer of 2022, they made adjustments to improve operations in 2023. However, there were some unexpected challenges, such as the closure of the Niger airspace, which caused significant disruptions to flights heading to sub-Saharan Africa. This led to flight cancellations, detours, and increased fuel consumption. Brussels Airlines estimates that these issues related to the political situation in Niger will cost them around EUR 4 million. They also faced challenges with rising fuel costs and overall inflation. Despite these challenges, Brussels Airlines remains committed to providing exceptional service to its passengers.

“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,” said Nina Öwerdieck, Chief Financial Officer, Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines Figures for July to September 2023.

Brussels Airlines expects a record-breaking year for 2023

Brussels Airlines is anticipating exceptional performance for the full year of 2023. Despite ongoing uncertainties, the airline is on track to achieve record-breaking results. With a focus on the fourth quarter, Brussels Airlines aims to break even, taking into consideration external factors such as the macroeconomy and geopolitical landscape.

Although the airline’s capacity is still 15% lower than pre-Covid levels, its robust profitability enables it to bridge this gap. To support its growth, Brussels Airlines will be adding five state-of-the-art A320neo aircraft to its fleet, along with the arrival of its tenth long-haul plane.

“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,” said Dorothea von Boxberg, Chief Executive Officer of Brussels Airlines.

Brussels Airlines Is Hiring

Brussels Airlines is rapidly growing and expanding its team in various departments. From maintenance and engineering to IT, cockpit, and cabin crew, the airline has around 240 job openings. In 2024 alone, they plan to recruit approximately 360 new colleagues. Currently employing 3,392 individuals, Brussels Airlines anticipates an annual increase of more than 5% in their workforce.

Inside Brussels Airlines New A320neo

On November 1, the first of five Brussels Airlines A320neo aircraft, with the registration number OO-SBA, successfully landed at Brussels Airport. In the upcoming weeks, the maintenance and engineering teams at Brussels Airlines will finalize the remaining upgrades on the aircraft. Once completed, the aircraft will be ready for its first commercial flight.

Fast facts about the A320neo:

  • Neo stands for “New Engine Option”
  • Up to 20% less fuel consumption than the previous generation aircraft
  • The A320neo will replace smaller A319 aircraft in the Brussels Airlines fleet, carrying more passengers with less fuel. Fuel consumption per seat will be reduced by 30%
  • The aircraft is equipped with 180 seats
  • Up to 50% noise footprint reduction
  • A total of 5 A320neos will join the Brussels Airlines fleet by the end of 2024

Brussels Airlines, along with the Lufthansa Group, has set ambitious sustainability targets. They aim to reduce their net carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, compared to 2019 levels, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. To achieve these goals, the airlines are implementing various initiatives, one of which includes renewing their fleet.

“It is crucial for us to modernize our fleet to be able to reduce our carbon footprint. The A320neo reduces both noise and CO2 footprint significantly compared to the current generation of A320s. We are happy to get the first brand-new aircraft directly from Airbus in Toulouse, to be followed by 4 more by the end of next year. This is a milestone in our history, so today is really a moment of pride, ”said von Boxberg.

LEAP-1A Engine Supports Sustainability Targets

The aircraft has the LEAP-1A engine manufactured by CFM International. These new engines are larger and can help save around 3,700 tons of carbon emissions per aircraft annually. Not only that, but the Neo model also has an extended range of approximately 500 kilometers compared to the previous version. The 2.40-meter-long wing tips, known as sharklets, can further reduce carbon emissions by approximately 800 tons per aircraft per year.

Enhanced passenger experience

The new aircraft will enhance the passenger experience as it represents a 50% noise reduction compared to its predecessors. The new baggage compartments are 40% larger in volume and can hold 60% more suitcases stowed vertically in the compartments. Another highlight is the new flexible lighting system, which adapts to passengers’ biorhythms depending on the phase of the flight and time of day, illuminating the cabin in either warm orange or cooler blue tones.

“Brussels Airlines has worked hard on becoming profitable. The first brand-new aircraft for our airline shows the continued support and trust of Lufthansa Group in our team. I would like to thank all our team members working on making Brussels Airlines successful – whether they offer excellent customer service or help in making us more effective. We’ve come a long way at Brussels Airlines, and we are happy that we start picking the fruit of our work.”

Dorothea von Boxberg, CEO, Brussels Airlines

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