EC approves Lufthansa tie up with Brussels Airlines
3 September 2009
Green light for Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines: the European Commission has granted regulatory approval for the tie-up of the two airlines. The decision paves the way for Lufthansa to acquire an initial 45 per cent stake in SN Airholding SA/NV, the parent company of Brussels Airlines.
Clearance from the EU competition authority will also give Lufthansa an option, from 2011, to buy the remaining 55 per cent stake in Brussels Airlines once it has secured the necessary traffic rights, thereby completing the takeover of the Belgian carrier. The transaction is expected to be finalised by the end of this month.
Regulatory clearance will enable both carriers to realise synergies, further strengthen their competitive position and intensify their cooperation – to the benefit of their respective customers. Harmonised schedules, which will lead to improved connections at the Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich and Brussels hubs, are just one of the advantages that customers can look forward to in future. Today, Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines passengers already profit from the partnership between the two airlines in the run-up to Brussels Airlines’ accession to Star Alliance.
Besides offering code-share flights on cross-border routes between Germany and Belgium and to other destinations in Europe, Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines and SWISS have forged a reciprocal arrangement that allows members of their respective frequent flyer programmes to earn and redeem miles throughout the partner’s network. From the end of October 2009, Privilege, the loyalty programme operated by Brussels Airlines, will be integrated into Miles & More, Lufthansa’s frequent flyer scheme.
Furthermore, since the introduction of the summer timetable, fares offered by both airlines on cross-border routes have been combinable. This means that passengers of either airline who have a ticket for a round-trip flight between Belgium and Germany can take one flight with Lufthansa and the other with Brussels Airlines. Lufthansa’s and Brussels Airlines’ airport lounges are already open to status customers and Business Class passengers travelling with either carrier.
Full information about the cooperation and customer benefits is available on the internet at lufthansa.com and brusselsairlines.com.