Brussels Airlines takes delivery of its first ever factory fresh aircraft Airbus A320neo OO-SBA

Brussels Airlines Airbus A320neo OO-SBA

On Wednesday 1 November 2023, Brussels Airlines welcomed Airbus A320neo OO-SBA at its home base at Brussels Airport. It is the very first time that a brand new, factory fresh aircraft joins the Brussels Airlines fleet.



On Wednesday 1 November 2023 at 12:56 CET, Brussels Airlines flight SN9902 touched down on Belgian soil. Brand new and factory fresh Airbus A320neo OO-SBA landed on RWY 25L at Brussels Airport after a short flight from the Airbus factory at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France. Many spotters gathered at one of the airport’s official spotting locations near the runway to catch a first glimpse of the new aircraft.

After vacating the runway, the aircraft taxied towards the Brussels Airlines maintenance hangar, where it was welcomed by employees of Brussels Airlines and members of the press. After the obligatory water salute by the Brussels Airport Fire Department, the aircraft was guided to its parking position by a marshaller, the parking brake was set and both engines were shut down.


Few moments later a towing tractor was attached to the nosewheel of the aircraft, the massive doors of the Brussels Airlines maintenance hangar opened and Airbus A320neo OO-SBA was towed inside the hangar. As soon as the towing was completed, the doors of the Brussels Airlines maintenance hangar were closed again and one the cabin doors of Airbus A320neo OO-SBA finally opened. The flight crew, cabin crew and management staff of Brussels Airlines received a hearty welcome and were greeted by their Brussels Airlines colleagues.


This event marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the history of Brussels Airlines as this is the first time that the airline receives a new aircraft directly from an aircraft manufacturer. It is the first of 5 Airbus A320neo aircraft that joins the Brussels Airlines fleet after many years of preparation works.


Airbus A320neo Facts

Airbus A320neo OO-SBA is 37,57 meters long and has a wingspan of 35,80 meters. It has a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 77 tons and its cabin interior has 180 new seats. The aircraft is equipped with two CFM International LEAP-1A engines and two 2.40 meters high wingtip devices called ‘sharklets’.

Some other interesting Airbus A320neo facts:

  • ‘neo’ stands for ‘new engine option’ (earlier Airbus A320 models are now designated ‘ceo’ which stands for ‘current engine option’).
  • The fuel consumption is up to 20% lower than previous generation aircraft.
  • The footprint is reduced by up to 50%.


Focus On Sustainability

Brussels Airlines is part of the Lufthansa Group and they are both ambitious in their sustainability targets. All airlines of the Lufthansa Group aim to cut their net carbon emissions in half by 2030 compared to 2019 and plan to be carbon neutral by 2050. Several initiatives will contribute to that goal, one decisive lever is fleet renewal.

Dorothea von Boxberg, CEO of Brussels Airlines, said: It is crucial for us to modernize our fleet to be able to reduce our carbon footprint. The A320neo reduces both noise and CO2 footprint significantly compared to the current generation of A320s. We are happy to get the first brand new aircraft directly from Airbus in Toulouse, to be followed by 4 more by the end of next year. This is a milestone in our history, so today is really a moment of pride.”

The new and significantly larger LEAP-1A engines from CFM International can save a further 3,700 tons of carbon equivalents per aircraft and year. In addition to the reduced fuel consumption, the Airbus A320neo also has a larger range of about 500 kilometers compared to its predecessor. The ‘sharklets’ enable an additional saving of 800 tons of carbon equivalents per aircraft per year.


Brussels Airlines Airbus A320neo OO-SBA

Dorothea von Boxberg (CEO of Brussels Airlines) (third from left), flight and cabin crew operating the delivery flight, and management staff of Brussels Airlines pose in front of the brand new aircraft.

The CFM International LEAP-1A engine powering the Brussels Airlines Airbus A320neo.

The CFM International LEAP-1A engine powering the Brussels Airlines Airbus A320neo.


Enhanced Passenger Experience

The Airbus A320neo will enhance passenger experience as it represents a 50% noise reduction compared to its predecessors. The new overhead baggage compartments have a 40% larger volume and can hold 60% more suitcases as these can now be stowed vertically in the compartments. Another highlight is the new flexible lighting system which adapts to passengers’ biorhythms depending on the phase of the flight and time of day, illuminating the cabin in either warm orange or cooler blue tones.


Entry Into Service

A total of five Airbus A320neo aircraft will join the Brussels Airlines fleet by the end of 2024. They will replace the smaller Airbus A319 which are gradually being phased out. This fleet renewal plan will enable the airline to carry more passengers with less fuel. Fuel consumption per seat will be reduced by 30%.

In the coming weeks, the Brussels Airlines maintenance & engineering team will carry out a few remaining upgrades on Airbus A320neo OO-SBA. Once these upgrades are completed, the aircraft will be put into service and operate its very first revenue earning flight.

1 November 2023