REPORT: Lufthansa Purchasing Remaining Stock in Brussels Airlines
Photo: Tail of a Lufthansa airplane. (Courtesy of Lufthansa)
On Wednesday, it was announced that the supervisory board of German airline company Lufthansa had approved a bid to buy the other 55 percent of Brussels Airlines that Lufthansa doesn’t own already.
The acquisition would be the latest step in Lufthansa’s attempt to expand its low-cost Eurowings brand.
According to Reuters.com, Lufthansa’s supervisory board is also reportedly discussing a plan to take jets from Air Berlin in order to help the company become the third largest low-cost airline in Europe behind only Ryanair and EasyJet.
In 2009, Lufthansa bought 45 percent of Brussels Airlines’ parent company SN Airholding for 65 million Euros ($73 million) with an option to purchase the rest after 2011. Lufthansa also loaned 45 million Euros to Brussels Airlines, and reports suggest the German airline could buy the remaining stakes for as little as 2.6 million Euros.
The deal is expected to be completed at the beginning of 2017.
Last year, Brussels Airlines flew a record 7.5 million passengers and made a record profit of 41.3 million Euros. Attacks on the Brussels airport and surrounding metro system resulted in a decrease in passenger numbers for March and April, but they have been recovering.
With Brussels Airlines boasting several strong routes to Africa—and Lufthansa having gaps in its flights to the continent—the purchase makes sense for the German airline. In total, Lufthansa will be looking to add Brussels Airlines’ 49 planes to its existing fleet of 90 Eurowings planes.
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