After an agreement between SN Airholding, the company behind SNBA, signed an agreement with Richard Branson, signed in mid-April, 2005, gave the first one control over Virgin Express, SN Brussels Airlines (SNBA) and Virgin Express merged into a single company.
The result of the merger mentioned above was Brussels Airlines, with the name being announced in early November, 2006 and commercial operations starting in late March, 2007.
On the 9th of December, 2009, Brussels Airlines joined Star Alliance, one year after Lufthansa acquired a 45% stake in it, with an option to purchase the remaining 55% until 2017. Also, since October 2009, Brussels Airlines is an integrated partner of Lufthansa’s frequent flyer programme.
On December 15, 2009, Brussels Airlines announced a new project for a regional airline in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the former Belgian Congo), which has strong business and political ties with Belgium. The name of the airline is “Korongo”. The main base of the airline, named “Korongo” is at Lubumbashi. The airline was launched in April 2012. In September 2015, Korongo Airlines ceased all operations.
In July 2010, with the fifth Airbus A330-300 entering into service, Brussels Airlines increased its frequency to Abidjan (up to 6 weekly) and added new African destinations (Accra, Cotonou, Ouagadougou, and Lomé).
From April 2011, a new cooperation started between Brussels Airlines and tour operator Club Med with Brussels Airlines transporting 80% of all Club Med passengers out of Brussels, on existing regular routes and new charter routes. Club Med members have priority boarding, the option of choosing their seats, lounge access, extra miles and an exclusive in-flight service.
On June 1, 2012, Brussels Airlines inaugurated its route to New York JFK, with a daily flight operated with an Airbus A330-300. After the collapse of Sabena and Delsey Airlines, Brussels Airlines is the first Belgian airline in 10 years to fly to New York.
Since June 18, 2013 Brussels Airlines added one more American destinations to its network, Washington Dulles. With the Airbus A330 aircraft operating direct flights 5 times a week, passengers can expect the new Brussels Airlines product with ergonomic seats in Economy Class, full flat beds in Business Class and state of the art in-flight entertainment in both classes. Although these new cabins were recently introduced, they are already being quoted by the industry as one of the best trans-Atlantic travel products.
At the end of January 2014, Brussels Airlines announced its most important expansion in its history, with nine confirmed seasonal destinations to France, Greece, Italy, Spain and Malta, as well as a return to the Polish market (Krakow and Warsaw) after some years of absence.
In March 2014, Brussels Airlines announced that the partnership with Club Med will have a new strategic dimension in order to strengthen their position in the Belgian market. For this, a wide range of exclusive benefits in terms of Fly & Ski, Fly & Golf, discovery tours and Club Med Business were launched.
In November 2014, Brussels Airlines has launched the b.family package. Traveling with kids can be a stressful experience for parents, and Brussels Airlines wants to be a family-friendly airline and take away this stress as much as possible. The new package includes several new services to make traveling with children more comfortable and is offered to families free of charge.
In October 2015, Brussels Airlines launched Loop, a new customer programme available for all European flights in the airline’s network. Loop is designed for the passengers who fly on Brussels Airlines’ European routes regularly but do not receive significant benefits from the traditional frequent flyer programme.
In April 2016, Brussels Airlines added Toronto Pearson to its North-American network. Also, from March 2017, a new service to Mumbai commenced with 5 weekly flights.
In June 2016, Brussels Airlines introduced Economy Privilege on its intercontinental flights, offering 3 classes instead of 2 on routes to Africa, the US or Canada. Economy Privilege passengers are offered a comfort upgrade at a low fare: seats in the first 4 rows of the Economy Class cabin, with more leg room and recline of 20 degrees instead of 8 degrees, a glass of champagne, and luxury items like a linen pillow, a hot towel, an amenity kit, and a Neuhaus chocolate giftbox.
Starting 2016, Brussels Airlines began phasing out its Avro RJ100 aircraft and replaced them with Airbus A320 aircraft by the end of October 2017.
In early January 2017, Lufthansa Group purchased the remaining 55% of SN Airholding, Brussels Airlines’ parent company.
In March 2017, Thomas Cook Group announced its intention to sell its Belgian operations to Lufthansa. In October 2017, Brussels Airlines took over two Airbus A320 aircraft, all traffic rights, and 160 crew members from Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium.
As of November 2017, Brussels Airlines wet leased five Sukhoi Superjets operated by CityJet.
In March 2018, Brussels Airlines launched Aerosmurf, its 5th aircraft with a Belgian Icon special livery. The Smurfs design was chosen by the public and will represent Belgium along with the four other Belgian Icons: Rackham (Tintin), Magritte, Trident (Red Devils) and Amare (Tomorrowland).
No deadly incidents involving Brussels Airlines have been recorded so far.