Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary threatens to leave Brussels Airport and wind down the activities at Charleroi airport.
wverSource: La Dernière Heure
Today at 14:09
O’Leary had invited the press to the low-cost airline’s headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. The second-largest passenger airline carried nearly 17 million people in August and sold about 12 tickets per second. Periods of economic difficulties are interesting for Ryanair, because more travelers opt for cheap fares.
But in Belgium, according to the CEO, Ryanair is planning to become less active. “I don’t see any growth in Belgium in the next 12 months,” says O’Leary in La Derniere Heure. Within two weeks, he plans to announce the closure of a number of European bases. “We are investigating the role of Zaventem airport, I do not rule out that we will end our activities at Brussels Airport this winter”
He is also considering withdrawing planes from Charleroi, where Ryanair is even more active than in Zaventem. “Our planes go to places where there is growth and where our low-cost model is facilitated. If we get a better deal with another airport, we will move.”
Michael O’Leary denounces the introduction of the aircraft tax – officially the embarkation tax – that has been in force in our country since April. “On top of that stupid tax, the manager of Brussels Airport has made the decision to raise prices,” it sounds aggrieved.
Last week it was announced that 48 Ryanair pilots based in Belgium are going to the labor court to undo an earlier wage cut and to enforce an old indexation of wages. “That indexation is not provided for in our agreement,” said CEO Eddie Wilson. “Ryanair looks forward to the lawsuit with confidence.”
Ryanair’s staff have retired several times in recent months, but the impact of the strikes in April, June and July has been limited, O’Leary said. “They have had no impact on our reliability, we had to cancel 2 percent of our flights. Belgian consumers have the choice between a ticket of 40 euros with Ryanair or being scammed for a lot of money by Brussels Airlines.”