Brussels, (Brussels Morning) – Brussels Airlines has once again put red numbers in the books in the first three months of 2022. The airline, part of the German group Lufthansa, is still experiencing the consequences of the corona pandemic and is struggling with higher costs, she announced on Thursday.
Turnover in the first quarter – traditionally the worst period for the aviation sector – amounted to 157 million euros Compared to the first quarter of 2021 this is an increase of 185 percent according to BRUZZ. At that time, a ban on non-essential travel was in force in Belgium due to the corona pandemic. The operating loss (EBIT) amounted to 62 million euros, an improvement of 11 percent year-on-year.
The coronavirus, and in particular the emergence of the omikron variant, also weighed on the results in the past quarter. In addition, operating costs rose. This is not only due to the increased number of flights, but also to higher fuel costs. These are partly due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Although financial director Nina Oewerdieck says that Brussels Airlines has been able to hedge to some extent.
The direct impact of the conflict was limited for Brussels Airlines. The airline had no flights to or from Ukraine and Russia, but was forced to put its plans to start flying to Russia again for the time being.
During the first quarter, Brussels Airlines carried 874,000 passengers on 8,153 flights, more than a fourfold increase on an annual basis. The numbers are still well below pre-pandemic levels.
Brussels Airlines wants to increase its capacity again this year to 80 percent of the level in 2019. To that end, it is expanding its fleet with two medium-haul aircraft and one long-haul aircraft.
Mother group Lufthansa is quietly climbing out of the corona valley. The German aviation group was able to more than double its turnover to 5.4 billion euros in the first quarter. The operating loss (EBIT) decreased from one billion euros to 591 million euros. A net loss of 584 million euros remains, compared to a billion euros a year earlier. For the full year, Lufthansa expects the operational figures to improve further, without sticking to a concrete figure. The volatile kerosene prices and the effects of the war in Ukraine create too many uncertainties, it is said.