Brussels Airlines achieves best-ever quarterly figures and plans fleet expansion for 2023
Despite tough times, Brussels Airlines is doing well. The Belgian airline achieved its best quarterly figures ever. By 2023, the airline aims to return to profitability and deploy additional aircraft to expand its operations into neighbouring countries and optimise its European point-to-point and feeder network. In the meantime, parent company Lufthansa has confirmed that it will repay the Belgian state corona aid before the end of this year.
Brussels Airlines carried 2.28 million passengers in the third quarter of this year, half more than a year earlier, and achieved a turnover of 436 million euros. The adjusted EBIT was 51 million euros, the best quarterly result in Brussels Airlines' 20-year history.
"Our company has demonstrated that it can fly profitably even in today's challenging economic reality."
"Our company has demonstrated that it can fly profitably even in today's challenging economic reality," Brussels Airlines chief financial officer Nina Oewerdieck said via a press release. Nevertheless, the profit is insufficient to compensate for the first half of the year, in which the coronavirus omicron variant and high energy prices pushed the airline firmly into the red.
By 2023, the Belgian airline hopes to be profitable again on an annual basis. Brussels Airlines also plans to grow with four additional medium-haul aircraft, which will also create more jobs. With the additional aircraft, Brussels Airlines aims to "expand its operations to neighbouring countries and optimise its European point-to-point and feeder network". Thus, by summer 2023, the fleet will consist of 45 aircraft, including 36 medium-haul and nine long-haul aircraft.
"A clear sign of confidence from the Lufthansa group in our way forward."
The airline also confirmed that the 290 million euro state aid it received during the corona crisis will be repaid this year, with the help of parent group Lufthansa. "A clear sign of confidence from the Lufthansa group in our way forward," CEO Peter Gerber said in the press release. "With this capital injection, they confirm their belief that a profitable future is within reach for Brussels Airlines."
The 210 million euro state aid received by sister company Austrian Airlines in Austria will also be repaid this year. With this, Lufthansa will have repaid all the aid it received from governments during the corona crisis. In Germany (Lufthansa) and Switzerland (Swiss), debts to the state were repaid earlier.
The entire Lufthansa group posted an adjusted operating profit (adjusted EBIT) of 1.1 billion euros in the third quarter and a net profit of 809 million euros. Last week, it had already doubled its profit forecast for 2022 and counted on an adjusted operating profit (EBIT) of more than 1 billion euros for the full year. "The Lufthansa Group has financially put the pandemic behind it and is looking optimistically to the future," the German group said in a press release.
© BELGA PHOTO Benoit Doppagne
© BELGA VIDEO Maarten Weynants