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Brussels Airlines set to cut costs by 10-15 percent

Brussels Airlines to cut costs by 10-15%

2018 01 09

2018 01 09

By Philip Blenkinsop, Reuters

Brussels Airlines, a unit of Lufthansa, plans to cut its costs by between 10 and 15 percent in the coming years in order to remain competitive with low-cost rivals, its chief executive said.

The Belgian carrier, which Lufthansa took full control of in December 2016, has already reduced costs by 15 percent in the past three years through savings on staff and more efficient baggage and catering operations.

Bernard Gustin said that cost-cutting had to continue. Passengers would pay a little more to travel with Brussels Airlines compared with a low-cost carrier, but that premium had to be kept to a minimum.

"We need to bring our costs down by at least 10-15 percent. This year already they have fallen by 5 percent," he said.

Brussels Airlines expects to carry a record 9 million passengers in 2017 and Gustin said he was targeting an increase to 10 million in 2018.

Lufthansa has said it wants to integrate Brussels Airlines into budget platform Eurowings, although the Belgian carrier also serves business routes to Africa.

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