Talking to Dorothea von Boxberg

Audio URL
Raising the Aviation Bar

On our new EUROCONTROL "Raising the Aviation Bar" podcast, Dorothea von Boxberg, CEO of Brussels Airlines, shares her views on the aviation business, sustainability and how the airline is preparing for busy summer traffic.

Dorothea took over as CEO of Brussels Airlines at the beginning of 2023 after a successful tenure as CEO of Lufthansa Cargo, and previous management roles within the Lufthansa Group. Brussels Airlines connects the capital of Belgium with over 85 destinations, 18 of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa, and has over 3,000 members of staff.

Responsible for Lufthansa Cargo during the pandemic, Dorothea proved her skill as a top airline manager during a testing time for the industry. In our podcast she shares insights into the many challenges she and her team have faced, such as having to work with partners in China living under complete lockdown. Her latest challenges? Growing Brussels Airlines’ profitability, with a strong focus on the airline’s routes to Africa. And while decarbonising aviation is an immense task, Brussels Airlines is firmly behind a strategy to halve its emissions from operations by 2030. Fleet renewal is a key pillar of this strategy, with a 15-20% reduction in fuel burn expected as a result in comparison to previous aircraft models. Brussels Airlines acquired three new A320neos last year to deliver on this strategy, and two more deliveries are to come in 2024.

In the podcast, Dorothea also elaborates on operational measures, single taxiing and Lufthansa Technik’s sharkskin technology (a durable bionic film that mimics the skin of sharks and optimises the airflow, enabling significant fuel savings), as further measures the airline is applying to advance on its sustainability targets.

Asked about her expectations for summer 2024, Dorothea emphasises that managing busy summer traffic poses a number of challenges that her team is working hard to address. Realistic scheduling and turnaround times – a priority under EUROCONTROL’s All Together Now 2024 campaign to ensure smoother summer traffic – are a key part of the airline’s strategy to avoid delays, as well as working with border control on how to best process passengers from outside the Schengen area in a time-efficient manner. In the long run, Dorothea is looking forward to seeing more trajectory-based operations which, by improving data exchange between air traffic control and pilots, will enable a better, more efficient use of airspace capacity and reduce fuel burn. Dorothea also shares insights into how Brussels Airlines is using AI to process customer and crew feedback and improve passenger experience.

The EUROCONTROL #RTAB podcast interview with Dorothea von Boxberg is available right on this page, as well as Podbean, Spotify, Google and Apple podcast platforms!