Brussels Airlines officially completed its commencement of flight operations at Berlin’s brand new Brandenburg Airport. The Belgian flag carrier joins fellow Star Alliance partners under the Lufthansa Group network: Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines.
The airline will operate three to five weekly flights between Brussels and Berlin, along with its existing flights to Hamburg – one of the two major, German cities where the airline operates flights. Additionally, the Brussels, Belgium-based carrier plans to use Berlin as one of its crucial, leisure destinations in Europe.
The airline plans to strategically schedule flights to connect passengers to cities such as Accra, Ghana; Entebbe, Uganda; Banjul, Gambia and Dakar, Senegal. Lengthy border closures and strict entry requirements in parts of the world continue to hinder international travel.
However, flights continue to remain stable between both continents. Brussels’ decision to continue flights between Europe and Africa – an important part of its route network – could play a significant role, in evolving its ability to navigate the industry during COVID-19.
Brussels Airlines’ Plausible, Future Pathway
In mid-July, the airline announced its agreement with the Belgian Federal Government and Lufthansa to receive a stabilization package. The prominent Star Alliance carrier was struggling to make a long-term profit and turn itself around to minimize losses. As a result, the airline needed to secure an agreement to construct a long-term development plan.
The stabilization package of €460 million – €290 million from the Belgian Federal government and €170 million from Lufthansa – covered a substantial part of the losses incurred by Brussels Airlines. For now, the airline’s commitment to Berlin may be a beneficial step forward towards a long-term profitable future.
In the meantime, the airline’s strategy to focus on leisure destinations as business travel has declined will be its key focus for the next few months. Additionally, Brussels Airlines will have to navigate through the effects of COVID-19. The airline should observe how its network will continue developing its current and future reputation in Europe.