Lufthansa to further integrate Brussels Airlines and Eurowings

Lufthansa to further integrate Brussels Airlines and Eurowings

Lufthansa is to pursue deeper integration between Brussels Airlines and its budget carrier Eurowings.

The prospect emerged as the German carrier revealed a senior management shake-up at the Belgian airline.

Brussels Airlines, which Lufthansa has owned since the end of 2016, announced that chief executive Bernard Gustin and chief financial officer Jan De Raeymaeker would both leave by the end of March.

Gustin will be replaced by the airline’s chief commercial officer Christina Foerster.

Brussels Airlines said that deepening co-operation with low-cost Eurowings will be a core priority for the new management team.

“The combined strengths of Brussels Airlines and Eurowings represent one of the major strategic pillars of the success of the entire Lufthansa Group,” Eurowings’ chief executive Thorsten Dirks said.

Brussels Airlines already sits within the Eurowings group.

At the same time, the company sought to allay fears in Belgium that the Brussels Airlines brand might disappear entirely, saying that it will “remain a Belgian entity and Belgium’s home carrier,” the Financial Times reports today.

Brussels Airlines has some 3,500 employees and operates 300 flights a day.

Fifty Belgian business leaders yesterday published an open letter — first reported in L’Echo newspaper — calling for the carrier to remain “firmly anchored” in Brussels.

“It is crucial that Brussels Airlines can, with its numerous partners, develop its hub in Brussels and its flights both in Europe as towards other continents,” they wrote.

“Belgium and Brussels, the capital of Europe, need this connectedness to remain competitive in a more and more globalised world.”

Trade unions have also indicated that they are ready to call strike action if the changes lead to redundancies, according to the FT.

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