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Archive for January 2010

Brussels to Recover Hub status thanks to Star Alliance

When Belgium’s national carrier, Sabena, went bankrupt 8 years ago the nation’s number 1 gateway lost fully one-third of its traffic overnight. Now that Sabena’s successor is a fully fledged member of the Star Alliance, Brussels Airport stands poised to recoup a significant chunk of that traffic.
The failure of Sabena meant that regional carriers serving BRU lost their long-haul feed, and they pulled back on frequencies. Meanwhile, other European long-haul airlines like Air France, British Airways, KLM and Lufthansa boosted frequencies to their home bases to fill the Sabena void. Almost 40% of Sabena’s traffic was on a transfer basis and it was lost overnight. Now that Brussels Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance it can once again focus on transfer traffic.
Many predict that BRU will become a significant Euro-hub for the Star group; in particular for its North American members, which have announced major route additions. Air Canada will inaugurate daily year-round service from Montreal next June, United will add daily Chicago service to its daily Washington operations next March, and US Airways is adding a Philadelphia service on top of Continental’s daily Newark flight.
Brussels Airport has a capacity for 28 million passengers per year and currently it has only 18.5 million per year so it has a lot of room for the Star Alliance to grow there.