"I’m telling you if Brussels Airlines doesn’t achieve better results they can’t expect any gifts from us”.
Last month some 60,000 passengers had their travel arrangements disrupted when pilots at Brussels Airlines held two one-day strikes.
Since the strike negotiations have resumed and their focus has switched to improving the pilots’ work-life balance.
Speaking at the IATA conference in the Australian city of Sydney, Mr Spohr said “The Lufthansa group consists of 15 airlines. Those that reduce costs and produce more income can count on our support. A good example of this is SWISS that will soon be given extra aircraft. Austrian Airlines’ and Brussels Airlines’ results were less good.
They can’t expect any extra investment. Their fate is in their own hands. Brussels Airlines is a relatively small part of the Lufthansa group. The effects of a strike at Brussels Airlines are visible more quickly in its results.
In Germany too we have had difficult times with a long period of strike action Lufthansa. However, the effects were less pronounced for the simple reason that we were better equipped at all levels to deal with loss of income”, Mr Spohr said.
The future of Brussels Airlines
Meanwhile, Brussels Airlines’ integration into Eurowings is fully under way. But where will Brussels Airlines be in 2020?
"First and foremost, they (Brussels Airlines employees) don’t need to be afraid of anything or anyone. Let me put it this way: Brussels Airlines is too small to succeed on its own. Staff at Brussels Airlines should get behind the integration into Eurowings more in order to help improve margins and improve income levels”.
Will the name Brussels Airlines be kept?
When asked about the future of the name “Brussels Airlines” Mr Spohr said “This is a decision to be taken by the CEO of Brussels Airlines (Christina Foerster).
A change of name seems less necessary for long-haul flights. Everyone knows Brussels Airlines in Africa, but nobody knows the airline in Scandinavia, Madrid or elsewhere in Europa.
Not even in the US or Asia. Eurowings should become the name that is synonymous with our pan-European answers low cost carriers such as Ryanair and EasyJet.”