Belgium will recall its ambassador to Senegal after the country withdrew the rights of Brussels Airlines to operate services via Dakar to other African destinations (Reuters, 28-Jan-2011). Brussels Airlines has been unable to operate on from Dakar to Gambia, Guinea and Sierra Leone since Senegal Airlines' launched operations earlier in Jan-2011.
Belgium recalls Senegal ambassador
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Lufthansa to complete takeover of Brussels Airlines for possible integration into Eurowings
Lufthansa's supervisory board has approved the exercise of its call option to buy the remaining 55% of SN Airholding, the parent company of Brussels Airlines. Lufthansa acquired 45% of the company in 2009 and negotiated the option to buy the balance of the shares for no more than EUR250 million. The deal is expected to close in early 2017, once the details of the purchase have been agreed with the other SN Airholding shareholders.
Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines have an extensive codeshare agreement and are partners in the Star Alliance. Their existing relationship is such that Brussels Airlines already feels like a member of the Lufthansa Group. The main draw for Lufthansa has always been its Belgian partner's extensive African network (it is the number two airline on Western Europe-Central/Western Africa).
However, it now seems that Lufthansa will, at least partly, integrate Brussels Airlines into its Eurowings low cost brand. Lufthansa is keen to accelerate Eurowings' expansion through partners (and is also to wet-lease up to 35 aircraft from airberlin). Brussels Airlines' fleet and single-class configuration on short/medium haul should fit with Eurowings, but its unit cost and network airline business model are not characteristic of an LCC.
Star Alliance: inherently (too) rigid
The largest of the three global alliances, Star Alliance, is the market leader in Europe and Africa. It is also the largest alliance in South Asia, but by default as it is the only alliance with an Indian member.