According to the media, this negotiation took place in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. The CEO of “Brussels-South Charleroi” airport, Philippe Verdonck, confirms the information but declined to comment on the content of the agreement. The Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizzair is also said to have concluded a contract extension.
In an interview given to Echo, the CEO of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, specifies that the Irish company has not obtained any subsidy from the Walloon Region and that this choice of development in Charleroi is based on other motivations. “All we do is negotiate prices. Look at the supermarkets, aren’t you saying Aldi and Lidl are subsidized by their suppliers? They just negotiated bigger discounts from their suppliers in the interest of their customers,” he said.
According to the calculations of the media specializing in economy, a 189-seat plane would cost 5,400 euros less from Charleroi than from Zaventem because of the cost of the fees applied there.
After announcing the withdrawal of the company’s two planes based in Brussels this winter, the boss of Ryanair drives the point home, stressing that “Brussels Airport is just a very badly managed airport” and that its director, Arnaud Feist, “does not understand anything at all to aviation”.
The businessman also questions the environmental tax now applicable for a direct flight to and from Belgium. According to him, this tax should also apply to connecting flights which are “twice as polluting”.