Ready for take-off: On March 20, an A340 took off for Eurowings in Düsseldorf for the first time ever. Flight number EW9778 left the North Rhine-Westphalian capital before noon and landed in Vienna just under an hour later. The four-engine jet in Eurowings livery is the first of three aircraft that Brussels Airlines is operating on behalf of Eurowings at the Düsseldorf location. Over the next few weeks, the long-haul jets will initially be employed on short routes to Vienna and Palma for training purposes. In late April, they will start crossing the Atlantic to destinations in the U.S. and Caribbean, including New York, Fort Myers and Miami, as well as Cancun in Mexico and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

With the three long-haul jets that are operated by Brussels Airlines, the Eurowings Group will be able to offer more than 1,700 additional flights and serve 450,000 additional passengers per year – in addition to its rapidly expanding range of short- and medium-haul routes. The long-haul fleet of Eurowings Group in Düsseldorf will already increase to seven jets with the 2018/19 winter schedule. “We will provide North Rhine-Westphalia with connections to the entire world on a large scale and consistently expand our long-haul operations in Düsseldorf,” says Eurowings Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Michael Knitter.

To make this possible, the Belgians cooperated with Eurowings to create an entire flight operation from the ground up in just five and a half months. “That we can already start flying from Düsseldorf in late April is a prime example of the agility and professionalism of Eurowings Group,” says Knitter.

It’s not just that 250 cockpit and cabin crew members were recruited, trained and prepared for long-haul service In less than half a year. A new branch office was established at the airport in Düsseldorf, a fully fledged Business Class was developed and many more things were also taken care of. “Brussels Airlines and Eurowings worked side by side to deal with highly complex, time-consuming processes in record time – a world-class performance from start to finish,” says Knitter. “Because both airlines worked ‘on time’, we will be able to offer our passengers attractive long-haul destinations from Düsseldorf very soon.”