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Royal Air Maroc
Ukraine International Airlines
Following the acquisition of SN Brussels Airlines and Virgin Express by SN Airholding, Brussels Airlines is the largest airline in Belgium and is based in Zaventem, Belgium. Lufthansa owns 45% of the airline and has an option over the remaining 55%. Brussels Airlines operates as a subsidiary of Lufthansa and became a member of Star Alliance in Dec-2009. Using a fleet which includes Boeing 737, Airbus 319/320/330 and Avro RJ85/100 aircraft, Brussels Airlines' network includes services within Europe as well as the Middle East, Africa and the USA. Brussels Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance.
Location of Brussels Airlines main hub (Brussels Airport)
323 total articles
28 total articles
The recent decision by Lufthansa to end its codeshare agreement with Turkish Airlines (THY) came as a surprise to most observers. Talks between the two carriers over the past 18 months had been seeking closer co-operation, a prospect that had even been discussed by the respective heads of government of Germany and Turkey.
However, the strong growth of THY in Germany has led to imbalances in their relationship. In particular, THY now has a strong presence in secondary German cities away from Lufthansa’s Frankfurt and Munich strongholds. This has undermined Lufthansa’s strategy of funnelling Asia-bound traffic from secondary markets via its hubs as THY increasingly offers an alternative connection via Istanbul.
With fares that Lufthansa cannot match, one of the world’s biggest networks and a product that continues to win plaudits, THY has become a formidable competitor to Lufthansa and its group companies in spite of also being a Star Alliance partner.
Germania is “very satisfied” with the performance of its Western African subsidiary Gambia Bird which launched a regional and international aviation network nearly a year ago with the aim of making Banjul an air transport hub for the sub-region.
Germania MD Andreas Wobig reportedly stated in Sep-2013 that Gambia Bird has allowed the group to better manage its capacity, noting that while charter operations in Europe are characterised by overcapacity and price pressure, the African continent is a key growth market
Gambia Bird plans to increase its winter timetable after making seasonal adjustments during the summer low season, which included moving one of Gambia Bird's two A319s to Germania’s Manchester base allowing the group to make maximise fleet utilisation.
Air CEMAC, a proposed start-up joint venture between six central African nations and Air France is inching its way to fruition. But tense negotiations between the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) member states of Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea and Republic of the Congo, and their prospective strategic partner Air France are at a delicate stage as the latest deadline to launch the carrier by the end of 2013 looms.
A key sticking point appears to be Air France insisting on taking a strategic 33% blocking stake in the joint venture while also demanding that Air CEMAC be granted a monopoly on future CEMAC regional routes, a proposition that could be severely damaging to the region’s existing carriers.
Air CEMAC aims to provide regional services linking the CEMAC states as well as the island nation of São Tomé & Príncipe to the rest of Africa. The plan has been 10 years in the making and Air France is almost certainly the final chance for the union to turn their wish for a common carrier into a reality as the original start-up capital is reportedly almost exhausted. Three potential strategic partners, Brussels Airlines, Royal Air Maroc and most latterly South African Airlines have all previously looked and walked away.
Uganda’s Government will soon consider a plan to relaunch Uganda Airlines as the national carrier to take on the dominance of foreign airlines and take advantage of a growing economy, boosted by a budding oil industry and tourism.
In addition the Government has unveiled plans to invest USD400 million on airport expansion and developments, the bulk of which will be spent on ageing and capacity constrained Entebbe International Airport (EIA), but will also improve several domestic airports to foster the establishment of a domestic network.
A new flag carrier will have to contend with Air Uganda which has growth aspirations of its own while the redevelopment of EIA will better position Uganda to compete with much larger regional hubs in Kenya and Tanzania.
Air Lituanica launched services at the end of Jun-2013, making it the first scheduled Lithuanian carrier since the collapse of FlyLAL in 2009 and Star1 Airlines in 2010. Air Lituanica will see Lithuania once again connected to other key European countries through a home-based carrier.
As the largest of the three Baltic states with a land area of 65,300km2, Lithuania has a population of about three million and had a GDP in 2012 of about USD42 billion, according to World Bank data. The country currently has four airports in Vilnius, Kaunas, Palanga and Šiauliai which are served by about 20 foreign carriers.
Aside from Air Lituanica, there are currently five other Lithuanian airlines including five charter carriers (Aurela, Avion Express, DOT LT, Grand Cru Airlines and Small Planet Airlines) and one cargo carrier (Aviavilsa). There have been no domestic services in the country since the demise of FlyLAL.
Accounts filed in Jun-2013 with the National Bank of Belgium show that the operating loss of Brussels Airlines’ holding company SN Airholding widened in 2012. It has yet to make an operating profit since Lufthansa acquired 45% in 2009, although its ‘Beyond 2012-2013’ restructuring programme aims to bring the company back to profitability by 2014.
Analysis of its unit costs (CASK) show that Brussels Airlines is a little more efficient than other Lufthansa Group national carriers, but much higher cost than the LCCs with whom it competes on much of its European network, which accounts for well over 80% of its seat capacity. The strength of its Europe to Africa operations risks being eroded by growing competition in the transfer market.
It seems unlikely that Lufthansa will exercise its option to buy the remaining 55%, unless Brussels Airlines can demonstrate significant progress towards sustainable profitability before the option expires in Apr-2014.
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