Brussels’ famous landmark figure, Manneken Pis, took center stage last Wednesday as Belgium’s biggest airline, Brussels Airlines, joined the global Star Alliance. The Manneken was befittingly dressed up in airline colors and proudly wore the captain’s insignia, while the invited press corps was joined by Brussels Airlines CEO Bernard Gustin and cabin crew of all the other STAR Alliance members, wearing their respective uniforms to add color to the ceremony and see the formal start of the day’s celebrations.
While the weather put a little damper on the mood, being windy and rainy, this could not stop those present to burst into the Manneken Pis song, at least those who knew the words that is, and there were many, judging by the mighty chorus, as even passersby joined the throng.
The day was concluded with a grand ceremony on the Grand Place in the historical center of Brussels with a light show, while the assembled 26 CEOs of Star Alliance members and the Star Alliance CEO enjoyed a special performance by Uganda’s Ndere Troupe flown in on the occasion to give their special dinner function that uniquely African touch. After all, Brussels Airlines, the new Star member, is part and parcel of airtravel to Africa, a reason why the airline is so valuable for both Star, as well as for their partner airline Lufthansa.