Brussels Airline soon based in Germany together with Eurowings?

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Lufthansa is gaining more and more absolute control over Europes Aviation Industry. Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, airberlin, LTU, Swiss overall big Daddy Lufthansa German Airlines is showing power and might over all of them. Not only the aviation industry in Belgium is in a state of panic.

In response to Lufthansa wanting to combine Brussels Airline with Eurowings, 100 Belgian companies called on Monday for Germany’s Lufthansa to keep Brussels Airlines based in Belgium and not to merge it with Eurowings in Germany. Earlier yesterday an essential step was concluded by Lufthansa. The German headquarter Lufthansa replaced the Belgian airline’s top management.

Lufthansa, which took control of the Belgian national flag carrier in 2016, on Monday appointed a new chief executive officer and chief operating officer at the airline. Appointed was Christina Foerster.

Christina Foerster (47) was previously Lufthansa Senior Vice President Network & Partner Management Hub Airlines and joined Brussels Airlines on October 1st 2016 to head the commercial departments of the Belgian airline.

After receiving a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Warton School, University of Pennsylvania, Christina began her professional career as a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group in 1999.

In October 2002, she moved to Deutsche Lufthansa AG as Project Manager Corporate Strategy, and subsequently took up a management appointment in 2005 as General Manager Product Management Intercontinental. In this position, she was responsible for the development of Lufthansa’s in-flight product in the long-haul segment.

In 2011 she became Vice President Network and Fleet Development, where she focused on the strategic development of the Lufthansa Group fleet and the global network of Lufthansa Passenger Airlines.

Two years later, in 2014, she was appointed Senior Vice President Network, Group & Alliance Development at the Lufthansa Group and since January overall process owner of Network & Partner Management for Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines, reporting directly to the Lufthansa Group Executive Board Member for Hub Management.

At Brussels Airlines, in addition to her commercial responsibilities, she was also heading Network Planning since 2017, capitalizing on her Lufthansa experience in that position.

Christina Foerster will take over the helm of Brussels Airlines on April 1, Brussels Airlines said in a statement on its website after a board meeting.

Executives at Belgian firms including Solvayand AB Inbev said in an open letter that the connectivity offered by Brussels Airlines was strategically important for Belgium and its ability to export products and services. They want Brussels Airlines to be based in Belgium and not Germany.

In response to the letter, Lufthansa’s Eurowings said the strengths of both airlines would be combined.

Lufthansa is using Brussels Airlines to expand long-haul operations for its Eurowings budget brand out of Duesseldorf. This all emerged out of the recent AirBerlin and LTU disaster.

The letter was welcomed by unions representing workers at Brussels Airlines, which employs 3,400 people.

Anita Van Hoof from the BBTK union said it was “uplifting” to be supported by the Belgian company executives.  BBTK is very worried about the number of jobs that will remain in Brussels after Lufthansa’s decision. Union representatives have said they would consider strike action depending on the outcome of Lufthansa’s decision.

Brussels Airlines emerged out of SN Brussels Airlines which was created in 2002 in the wake of the bankruptcy of Sabena.

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.