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RYANAIR CLOSES BRUSSELS ZAVENTEM BASE FOR W22 AS A RESULT OF INCREASED CHARGES & TAXES

RYANAIR CLOSES BRUSSELS ZAVENTEM BASE FOR W22 AS A RESULT OF INCREASED CHARGES & TAXES

REALLOCATES 2 ZAV BASED AIRCRAFT TO LOWER COST EU AIRPORTS FROM 29th OCT

Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, today (7th Sept) confirmed it will close its 2 aircraft Brussels Zaventem base on 29 Oct (a loss of $200M investment) for the Winter 2022 Season. Ryanair will continue to operate 12 routes to Zaventem on aircraft based outside Belgium.

Unlike other European airports who are lowering costs to recover traffic, Brussels Zaventem has chosen to increase prices, making it more uncompetitive with other European airports, including Brussels Charleroi who have implemented traffic recovery incentive schemes for all airlines.

In addition to rising costs at Zaventem, the Belgian Govt has introduced ludicrous new taxes including a €2 tax per departing passenger on EU routes and a fake “eco tax” of €10 for every passenger taking a flight less than 500km. At the same time, the most polluting long-haul (and connecting) flights continue to pay zero environmental taxes. If the Belgian Govt were serious about tackling climate change, why are they exempting connecting passengers (the biggest polluters of all) from the €10 eco tax?

Regrettably, all Brussels Zaventem based pilots and cabin crew have today been notified of the Zaventem base closure at the end of October 2022. All flight crew will be offered alternative positions within the Ryanair network (including some positions at Charleroi), since Ryanair is leading Europe’s post-Covid recovery as it accelerates growth (in jobs and traffic) with the full delivery of 210 next generation Boeing Gamechanger aircraft over the next 4 years.

Ryanair’s Group CEO Michael O’Leary said:

“We are very disappointed to announce the closure of our 2 aircraft Brussels Zaventem base at the end of October for the winter 2022 season, but we have no alternative following more cost increases from Zaventem and the absurd decision of the Belgian Govt to introduce new taxes on the most environmentally efficient flights while exempting the most polluting flights (long haul and connecting) from any eco tax.

While we continue to grow at other European airports who understand that lower airport charges are necessary for post Covid traffic recovery, we have no choice but to close our Brussels Zaventem base this winter in response to higher costs.

Lower airport fees are the key for delivering long-term traffic growth for airports and regions. This is impossible at Brussels Zaventem following the increase in airport costs and the Belgian Govt’s idiotic decision to increase its ‘eco’ taxes. This winter will be extremely challenging with high oil prices and so higher cost airports, at Brussels Zaventem are not sustainable.

Ryanair continues to successfully negotiate long-term low cost recovery deals at many airports to underpin traffic growth to 225m passengers by 2026, delivering low fares, reliability and great customer care.”

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