Ryanair welcomes any investigation by the EU Commission into our successful low fares operation at Brussels Charleroi Airport. In response to the Commissionå‘s statement this afternoon we wish to highlight the following points;
1. The arrangements between Ryanair and Brussels Charleroi Airport comply with the principle of the private investor in a market economy. Brussels Charleroi successfully secured the three base aircraft, over 100 direct Ryanair jobs, and 1.5 million passengers per annum in head to head competition with three other competing base airports.
2. Ryanair and Brussels Charleroi both agreed that these arrangements would be non exclusive, in so far as they are also on offer to any other airline that wishes to invest on a like for like basis (i.e. base aircraft, create jobs, offer low fares, launch new routes and guarantee passenger volumes) as Ryanair has in Brussels Charleroi and the Walloon Region.
3. The dramatic success of the tourism partnership between Brussels Charleroi and Ryanair has resulted in over 1.5 million passengers per annum on Ryanair’s 10 routes to/from Brussels Charleroi Airport. These consumers are saving over €150m over the high fares being charged by other European airlines. The support of the travelling public for the Ryanair - Brussels Charleroi partnership is a clear and unambiguous statement of “consumer wishes” which the Commission cannot ignore.
Lastly, Ryanair welcomes the Commission’s statement that it wishes to ensure a level playing field. This is particularly timely in light of last week’s discriminatory proposal to impose compensation penalties on airlines without imposing them on other competing forms of transport such as ferries, trains and the bus operators. We hope that the Commission will now alter these proposals, as it stresses in its own statement “to ensure a level playing field”.
Ryanair will continue to fight for low fares all over Europe.
We are delighted to have this opportunity to highlight our low fares services to/from Brussels Charleroi.
To re-enforce our commitment to low fares, we are offering an amazing 200,000 seats to/from Brussels Charleroi, from just €9.99 including tax* to ten destinations all over Europe. Ryanair will be seeking an early meeting with the Commission to fully address any queries the Commission may have so that we can continue the successful development of low fare air transport all over Europe.
*Bookings can be made until midnight Thursday, Dec 12 2002. Full details see www.RYANAIR.COM