Lufthansa has reached a deal to fully take over Brussels Airlines. The Belgian carrier announced on Wednesday this is to help their growth of budget travel and consolidate the fragmented industry of European airlines.
“I can confirm that a deal has been reached,” says a spokesperson for Brussels Airlines, saying they would give further details in a conference on Thursday morning.
Lufthansa had previously bought 45% of Brussels Airlines from their owner SN Airholding in 2009 for a price of 65 million euros ($73 million), with the option to acquire the rest from 2011.
The decision was taken in September to acquire the rest forms part of the expansion of the budget Eurowings division, the carrier’s answer to competition from Ryanair and Easyjet.
A source has previously said that because Lufthansa had loaned 45 million euros to Brussels airlines, the German carrier can buy the remaining stake for as little as 2.6 million euros.
The deal for Brussels airlines, plus a plan to lease 35 planes and crew from Air Berlin will see Eurowings grow their fleet to over 160 planes from their current 90 aircraft by the end of the year.
Lufthansa management has praised restructuring efforts at Brussels, which have reduced costs to almost the lowest in the Lufthansa Group. Brussels airlines also has strong routes to Africa, whereas Lufthansa has gaps in their network.
Brussels Airlines has served a record 7.5 million passengers in 2015 and made a record net profit of 41.3 million euros, although that is expected to fall this year due to the previous Brussels airport attack in March.