During an extraordinary works council held this morning in Brussels, Ryanair officially announced that it was closing its base at Brussels Airport during this winter season, i.e. from the end of October. Two planes were still based in Zaventem, against fifteen in Charleroi. Nearly 80 jobs are affected by this withdrawal of the Irish company from the national airport. Present in Brussels, Michael O’Leary, the boss of the Ryanair group, confirmed this closure. “We are retiring our two planes from Bussels Airport this winter and there is no guarantee that they will return this summer.”, he explains. About 80 Ryanair employees are affected by this closure. They will be deployed either in Charleroi, Ryanair’s other base in Belgium, or abroad. Unsurprisingly, the Irish boss explains his decision following the “eco-tax” deemed “absurd” put in place by a “stupid” Belgian government “(sic). He also rails against the airport prices of Brussels Airport. This withdrawal would, according to Mr. O’Leary, have nothing to do with the strikes this summer in Belgium. What strike? , ironically the boss of Ryanair. “Our message is not addressed to the trade unions but to the Belgian government and to Zaventem airport”, clarifies the CEO.
Last Thursday, Mr. O’Leary had threatened to close his second Belgian base, complaining in particular about the new federal tax on passengers and the increase in airport prices.
“Zaventem airport is one of those bases that we are looking at very closely. I cannot guarantee that we will not close it this winter”said Michael O’Leary. Before adding: “We are also thinking of withdrawing planes from Charleroi. Our planes will go where there is growth and where our model is facilitated low-cost. If we have a better deal with another airport, we will move”.