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Brussels Airlines adds new routes to compete with Ryanair

10:41 31/01/2014

Brussels Airlines (BA) issued a declaration of war yesterday against low-cost airline Ryanair, with the announcement of an extension of their network just as the Irish airline gets ready to begin flying out of BA’ home base at Brussels Airport.

BA’s 400,000 additional seats come in part from nine new destinations, including Seville, Montpellier, Corsica, Malta and Athens. The rest come from additional flights to existing destinations. 

The choice of destinations appears to home in on Ryanair’s network. At present there are no direct flights from Brussels to Seville, Montpellier and several other of BA’s new destinations. Air Malta flies from Brussels to Malta, as does Ryanair’s partner Wizzair, but only via Budapest. Only Jetairfly goes direct to Athens, but from Charleroi. 

According to air traffic experts, BA’s decision will be good for consumers but isn’t sustainable over the long term. “There are only so many people who want to go on holiday,” one expert told VTM News. The decision to add three destinations on Corsica alone might prove uneconomical, he said.

And while competing strongly on destinations, the airline will not try to undercut Ryanair’s prices, said BA CEO Bernard Gustin. “At the end of the day, I want our clients to say, look, I have a price that’s very competitive, but from Brussels Airlines I get an entire network and service of a different order.” 

photo courtesy Arpingstone/Wikimedia Commons

Written by Alan Hope