ayo85
Topic Author
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:54 am

Future of Brussels Airport

Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:15 pm

Hi. I find Brussels Airport to be a very comfortable and convenient airport, especially when I compare with packed mega airports like Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris or London. The airport has become even better with the new Connector building. The airport and Brussels Airlines are improving their service and image (especially with Tintin :D ) and the number of passengers has increased significantly in recent years. Although the airport lost traffic following the terrific bombings earlier this year, it seems up again and I wanted to have your views on the future of the airport as a worldwide hub, especially with Brussels Airlines doing better.

- The airport attracts significant number of intercontinental flights from other operators, United, Delta, Emirates, Qatar, Etihad, Thai, Hainan Airlines, Ethiopian, Air Canada. Shanghai is being added, Atlanta relaunched etc. Is there a chance of an increase of such connections, especially as part of Star Alliance or not? Eg Tam, SQ, Air India, South African etc. More United Destinations...

- Is Brussels still growing as a central business/admin city with its position as EU headquarter, NATO etc. and hence attracting more traffic? or will it not increase, especially in light of Brexit and EU troubles? but if Brexit happens, more integration may come..

- Can Brussels Airlines grow significantly especially in terms of transit and adding intercontinental flights? (to Africa – Nigeria, Gabon, South Africa etc., N America – Boston, SF, LA.., India – Delhi, Bangalore etc.). Is there room for growth in transit for BRU when surrounded by 4 major transit airports (FRA, CDG, LHR, AMS), and of which three are directly connected by high speed train to the whole or parts of Benelux catchment area including Brussels? Note that BRU is not directly connected to HIghspeed but to Brussels in 15min and other Belgian cities.

- What will be the impact of the take-over from Lufthansa, may it impede such growth to benefit FRA or MUC hubs?

- What about strong competition from low cost airlines, especially with Ryanair using large airport now such as BRU? (I saw that this is directly affecting other carriers, e.g. easyjet dropping bru-berlin flights, airlingus decreasing to 2 flights, etc.).

Thanks!
 
777klm
Posts: 551
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Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Fri Nov 04, 2016 3:06 pm

ayo85 wrote:
Terrific bombings

You might want to change that typo

I always thought of BRU as a nice airport. I guess it's main advantage, being well connected by railways to cities like Amsterdam, Paris and Cologne, is also its main disadvantage. AMS and CDG offer much better connections to the world than BRU does.

I think BRU will have a nice niche market with its Africa flights and will remain to serve this market. Historical reasons play a huge part in this. I think BRU will be the "Africa hub" for the LH group I think.

Obviously there's room for growth for BRU, SN simply shows that with its expanding operations in North America for example. It will never become mega transit hub like CDG and FRA however.
Home airport: AMS
Next flight: CNX - BKK
 
Jetty
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Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Fri Nov 04, 2016 3:33 pm

ayo85 wrote:
The airport and Brussels Airlines are improving their service and image (especially with Tintin :D ) and the number of passengers has increased significantly in recent years.

I disagree with both. The measures taken after the horrific bombing were awful for the customer experience (waiting hours te enter the terminal i.e.), and multiple staff have shown utter disregard for their customers with barely announced strikes from ATC, police and ground-handling in just the last few months. To say that the numbers of passengers has increased significantly you have to pick a very convenient time-frame. Passenger numbers are on the same level as 2000 and declined ~10% this year. Aircraft movements are on the same level as 1995(!), This probably makes BRU the worst performing major European airport over the past 15 years and the past year. Only if you'd pick a time frame of ~5 years the numbers look good.

- The airport attracts significant number of intercontinental flights from other operators, United, Delta, Emirates, Qatar, Etihad, Thai, Hainan Airlines, Ethiopian, Air Canada. Shanghai is being added, Atlanta relaunched etc. Is there a chance of an increase of such connections, especially as part of Star Alliance or not? Eg Tam, SQ, Air India, South African etc. More United Destinations...

This will depend on the plans of LH with SN. If LH is going to invest in SN in similar way as they've done with LX/OS there is definitely potential for more long-houl services. If LH wants to make SN part of EW I don't see much potential as there aren't many more potential destinations that can rely on just O&D.

- Is Brussels still growing as a central business/admin city with its position as EU headquarter, NATO etc. and hence attracting more traffic? or will it not increase, especially in light of Brexit and EU troubles? but if Brexit happens, more integration may come..

Brussels currently has the image of being the terror capital of Europe. That will have to change for it's significance as business city to grow. On the long term there is good potential being the 'capital of Europe', but how the EU will proceed is very hard to predict. I wouldn't say that Brexit will likely lead to more integration, as it's the result of a growing skepticism about the EU that is noticeable in many countries.[/quote]
 
SCQ83
Posts: 5501
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Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Fri Nov 04, 2016 3:54 pm

I agree that the new "measures" for both CRL and BRU are quite customer-unfriendly.

Now entering BRU or CRL seems like entering a bunker. I understand additional security measures both you go to AMS, DUS, CDG and there is nothing like that.
 
OGLOBAL
Posts: 199
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Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:04 pm

I've traveled through BRU at least 6 times in the last 12 months i don't understand what you mean by those measure since everything was just like any other major airport in the world security measure were the same as CDG or any major airport i actually find BRU one of the best airports europe they have a nice terminal and it's well connected the only disadvantage was for example recently there was a threat in one of the metro stations that there was a bomb it turned out fake but trains were at least 2 hours late and no one explained anything but i was able to get a refund for my train ticket and get a cab instead
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:07 pm

ayo85 wrote:
I wanted to have your views on the future of the airport as a worldwide hub, especially with Brussels Airlines doing better.


BRU may be a successful hub for Brussels Airlines but it has no future as a worldwide hub. It is living in the shadow of AMS, CDG, FRA and LHR. Proximate airports compete (in that their carriers compete) to aggregate regional traffic. Particularly close airports compete for originating traffic when passengers will drive/rail to alternate airports for better fares or schedule. There are great economies of scale to mega-hubs: more passengers allow bigger aircraft with lower CASM, more frequent flights, flights to more destinations. It becomes self-reinforcing. BRU's best days as a hub are surely in the past.
 
SCQ83
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Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:10 pm

OGLOBAL wrote:
I've traveled through BRU at least 6 times in the last 12 months i don't understand what you mean by those measure


Now in BRU and CRL you have an "additional security screen" outside the airport.

True I have arrived only to BRU lately with the train but at the airport train station you have a first security screen with army / police officers. Not something you find in airports in, let's say, Germany. I was in Cologne this week (just a comparison) and I could walk from the train to the security for airside without meeting any "security" or army.

At CRL they have built new temporary structures and have completely remake the drop off / arrival / departure thing in front of the terminal.
 
luftaom
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Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:33 pm

777klm wrote:

I think BRU will have a nice niche market with its Africa flights and will remain to serve this market. Historical reasons play a huge part in this. I think BRU will be the "Africa hub" for the LH group I think.




I'm not for one moment suggesting that you are wrong (and that it doesn't exist) - but I have never really understood the historical connections with Africa argument. Other than the Congo - Belgium never really had any colonies in Africa and it's not as if Belgium has huge industrial organisations with historic links to Africa.
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JayBCNLON
Posts: 318
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Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:47 pm

Can the SABENA brand be re-activated by LH? That would be a great addition in the league of brands that LH already has
 
Jetty
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Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:53 pm

JayBCNLON wrote:
Can the SABENA brand be re-activated by LH? That would be a great addition in the league of brands that LH already has

It is owned by SN so it can. There's a reason Sabena went bankrupt: inefficient, unmotivated staff striking frequently, not customer-oriented, a huge burden on the Belgian taxpayer etc... Not sure many people besides aviation-geeks have fond memories of Sabena, especially after leaving many bills unpaid when they went bankrupt. Not a brand you want to revive imo.
Last edited by Jetty on Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
AcousticPower
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:58 pm

Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:54 pm

The "additional security screen" is being decommissioned and will be replaced by less visible security measures by November 7th. More info can be found in the following link unfortunately for most it's in Dutch :) Now I agree that it was quite a hassle to get through the extra security so I hope the situation will improve.

[url]http://www.hln.be/hln/nl/32616/Terreurdreiging-in-Belgie/article/detail/2932476/2016/10/19/Brussels-Airport-past-nieuwe-veiligheidsregels-toe-dit-verandert-er-allemaal.dhtml[\url]

Edit: got to figure out how to fix the link code
 
777klm
Posts: 551
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 12:23 am

Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:22 am

luftaom wrote:
777klm wrote:

I think BRU will have a nice niche market with its Africa flights and will remain to serve this market. Historical reasons play a huge part in this. I think BRU will be the "Africa hub" for the LH group I think.




I'm not for one moment suggesting that you are wrong (and that it doesn't exist) - but I have never really understood the historical connections with Africa argument. Other than the Congo - Belgium never really had any colonies in Africa and it's not as if Belgium has huge industrial organisations with historic links to Africa.


You are correct that Belgium didn't have many colonies in Africa. From Congo however, they operated an extensive regional network in Africa. This made the Sabena brand well known in Africa.
Home airport: AMS
Next flight: CNX - BKK
 
Scorpio
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Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:35 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
BRU's best days as a hub are surely in the past.


While transfer / hub traffic is still a relatively small part of operations at BRU compared to the mega hubs surrounding it, it is the fastest growing part of the operations. Last year transfer traffic grew by about 15%, meaning it grew twice as fast as the airport in total, and this year we're again seeing strong growth in transfer traffic, despite the attacks in March: while total passenger numbers in recent months have still been seeing a small drop compared to last year, transfer traffic is already seeing very healthy double digit growth.
 
Viscount724
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Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:24 pm

luftaom wrote:

I'm not for one moment suggesting that you are wrong (and that it doesn't exist) - but I have never really understood the historical connections with Africa argument. Other than the Congo - Belgium never really had any colonies in Africa and it's not as if Belgium has huge industrial organisations with historic links to Africa.


Rwanda and Burundi (both still served by SN) were also under Belgian administration from the 1920s until the early 1960s.
 
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intotheair
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Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:07 pm

I think BRU has its place as a niche hub for Europe-Africa and as a TATL connection alternative to the big power hubs (FRA/AMS/CDG/LHR). I have connected in BRU a few times, and while the new pier is nice, the passport control on arrival for non-EU citizens is a mess. SN's flights all arrive in the early morning hours, and it can take quite a while to get through it.

I'm not sure how much more international expansion we'll see from BRU. Brussels is an important city, but to compare it still has a smaller metro area than Lyon for example. I question how much of an O&D market there really is out of a city that size. I may be naive, but I highly doubt we'll see a wholesale replacement of SN with EW except for maybe some intra-Europe and holiday heavy routes. If SN can get some more A330s, I think we could maybe see IAD go year-round, and LAX or SFO are possibilities as well. OS just announced VIE-LAX. Not sure if we'll see much from UA — they already fly EWR, ORD, and IAD, and that to me seems like a lot.
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Scorpio
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Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:54 am

intotheair wrote:
I question how much of an O&D market there really is out of a city that size.

BRU's O&D market isn't just Brussels, it's basically all of Belgium, which is 11 million people.

If SN can get some more A330s, I think we could maybe see IAD go year-round, and LAX or SFO are possibilities as well.


BOS and SFO are being rumored. A few more African destinationsare apparently also being looked at.

Not sure if we'll see much from UA — they already fly EWR, ORD, and IAD, and that to me seems like a lot.


EWR was supposed to go double daily, but this was cancelled / postponed because of the attacks in March. They're also trying to get UA to open IAH flights.
 
777klm
Posts: 551
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Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Sun Nov 06, 2016 11:14 am

BRU's O&D market isn't just Brussels, it's basically all of Belgium, which is 11 million people.

Actually its even bigger than that. The entire catchment area is 20 million people: 11 million Belgians, + 8 million cross border.
Home airport: AMS
Next flight: CNX - BKK
 
blueflyer
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Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:46 pm

777klm wrote:
BRU's O&D market isn't just Brussels, it's basically all of Belgium, which is 11 million people.

Actually its even bigger than that. The entire catchment area is 20 million people: 11 million Belgians, + 8 million cross border.

There is a significant overlap with the catchment area of AMS, CDG or even FRA. You don't have to go that far outside Brussels to find passengers who prefer to drive or take the train to AMS and CDG and fly non-stop, rather than start their air journey in BRU and still have to connect somewhere. In the O/D market, BRU's biggest weakness is the lack of long-haul flights compared to its neighbors.

The airport's future depends largely on Brussels Airlines' continued success in Africa. After O/D, African connections are by far the largest driver of traffic on North American flights. It is because of that traffic that United had only a minor capacity cut to BRU (seasonal downgauge of one 772 to a 764), although they did cancel a planned expansion as already noted, and capacity to/from Canada expanded, so far succesfully.

The airport is also building itself a nice reputation among Star Alliance frequent fliers as an alternative to a connection in FRA although once again the dearth of long-haul flights hampers that strategy, especally to/from Asia. Brussels Airlines is rumored to be dedicating its next A330 acquisition to an Indian route.

Non-Star airlines may provide more growth, though. Haian will inaugurate non-stop flights to PVG next year; TAM reportedly started negotiations earlier this year to build its own mini scissor-hub in BRU (although I have not heard anything since the initial announcement); and Emirates is said to be ready to upgauge BRU to an A380 but airport authorities are concerned about the cost (after claiming they'd build a gate if someone, anyone, wanted to bring the A380 in).
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usflyer123
Posts: 567
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Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Sun Nov 06, 2016 6:16 pm

luftaom wrote:
777klm wrote:

I think BRU will have a nice niche market with its Africa flights and will remain to serve this market. Historical reasons play a huge part in this. I think BRU will be the "Africa hub" for the LH group I think.




I'm not for one moment suggesting that you are wrong (and that it doesn't exist) - but I have never really understood the historical connections with Africa argument. Other than the Congo - Belgium never really had any colonies in Africa and it's not as if Belgium has huge industrial organisations with historic links to Africa.


i dont think its about former colonies, Belgium have huge number of african immigrants.
BTW, anyone knows why are they adding Yerevan? is there a market for Armenia-Belgium or is it for connections?
for most people the sky is the limit. for those who love aviation, the sky is home...
 
sf260
Posts: 284
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Re: Future of Brussels Airport

Sun Nov 06, 2016 6:55 pm

blueflyer wrote:
Brussels Airlines is rumored to be dedicating its next A330 acquisition to an Indian route.


Mumbai was announced back in August and will be flown 5 weekly as from 6 March 2017.

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