08-11-06

Brussels Airlines

 

The new name of the Belgian airline company is known. The open options that remained were the emotional Sabena (the former name of the airline company that went bankrupt exactly 5 years ago) or the rational Brussels Airlines.

 

Thanks to some leaks it became known that it is Brussels Airlines, a good name in line with the name of the airport exploiter named Brussels Airport (formerly BIAC). In other words: the merger of Virgin Express (Belgium) and SNBA became Brussels Airlines.

 

Since I am, like many others, a 100% online airline ticketing booker – I immediately reasoned: the former company was name SN Brussels Airlines, and the URL was www.snba.be – so Brussels Airlines must be www.ba.be. However, this turns out to be ‘the Belgian Linux Integrator’. So I thought: “OK – but good: they think global”, and I typed www.ba.com – but this is the website of British Airlines … a major competitor for Brussels Airlines. And worst of all … I ended up booking a ticket on British Airlines …

 

This said: I think the resurrection of SNBA and now Brussels Airlines is an incredible achievement driven by great Belgian businessmen and the right government support. The new CEO of the new merged company is Philippe Vanderputten, a former colleague of mine. Philippe managed Proximus for many years. He is praised for his marketing knowledge (he previously worked also for Sarah Lee), but I personally enjoyed working with him because he is a great leader and people manager, based on strong values. So I really think he is the right person in this challenging period for Brussels Airlines.

 

Good luck Philippe and BA and bravo for relaunch. But ... take good care for your internet booking customers. The right amount of Search Engine Optimization, a customer friendly URL (nobody easily types URL’s of more than 8 letters, a few exceptions aside) and a great launch campaign via digital media will bring Brussels Airlines at the top of my mind.

 

bart

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