During a press conference in Brussels at noon, Eddie Wilson, Ryanair’s Chief People Officer explained the airline’s plans in Belgium for next Summer season. Chief editor André Orban attended the press conference and reports:
For next Summer 2018, Ryanair is not expecting significant changes at Brussels Airport. There will be 15 routes in total, including Barcelona ‘3x daily), Madrid, Dublin and Rome (each 2x daily).
Brussels South Charleroi can expect six new destinations: Lisbon and Malta (each 1x daily), Naples (4x weekly), Varna and Plovdiv (each 2x weekly) and Wroclaw (3x weekly). Ryanair will also add frequencies to Alicante (1x daily), Porto (6x weekly), Sofia (5x weekly) and Brindisi (3x weekly).
Eddie Wilson also mentioned:
- the new baggage policy, which has been reported elsewhere in this website,
- the 20 Air Europa routes from Madrid, saleable on the Ryanair website,
- the connecting flights at Milan Bergamo and Rome Fiumicino,
- the partnership with the Erasmus Student Network,
- the Alexa voice recognition to search flights and more on the Ryanair website.
The “Mons ruling” of the European Court of Justice
An important part of the press conference (and also of the Q&A session afterwards) was devoted to the so-called “Mons ruling” of the European Court of Justice, on which we report elsewhere on this website (ECJ ruling and Ryanair reaction, Trade union reaction). Wilson’s comments:
- Existing EU rules are upheld
- The existing EU single market and free movement of labour are also upheld
- “Mons” is about jurisdiction (which court?), not choice of law
- Ryanair people continue on Irish contracts
- Irish contracts comply with all EU directives
- Jurisdiction of local courts will not alter employers’ rights or costs
- No unionisation threat: Irish law protects union rights
- UK based crews rejected unionisation, twice in 30 years.
Update on Alitalia
Ryanair has submitted an expression of interest to take over all of Alitalia. The deadline for submission is 2 October. BBut Alitalia must be restructured.
Ryanair also offers to feed Alitalia’s long-haul traffic and to sell Alitalia long-haul flights on the Ryanair website.
If Alitalia disappears, Ryanair can deploy 20 aircraft in Italy.
Update on Air Berlin
Ryanair considers that the Air Berlin insolvency allows Lufthansa to take over Air Berlin debt-free. The €150 million government loan to Air Berlin should be considered as illegal state aid. If the number one German carrier Lufthansa takes over the number two Air Berlin, this will lead to a monopoly and a breach of German and EU competition rules, especially if major competitors are excluded from the bidding, and German consumers will suffer from higher fares.
Ryanair has thus lodged a complaint with the German Bundeskartellamt and the EU’s DG Competition to block the takeover.
Update on Brexit
The final outcome remains uncertain, with the best outcome (continued open skies) very unlikely. A disruption is likely.
The UK must negotiate bilateral agreements with the other 27 EU Member States, but the negotiations are delayed by the divorce talk. German and French airlines oppose any deals. There is a risk that there will be no agreement by March 2019 and that could lead to the interruption of flights between the UK and the EU, especially since there is no Plan B.
The Ryanair press release
RYANAIR LAUNCHES BRUSSELS S18 SCHEDULE
6 NEW ROUTES TO LISBON, MALTA, NAPLES, PLOVDIV, VARNA & WROCLAW
Ryanair, Belgium’s No.1 airline, today (14 Sep) launched its Brussels summer 2018 schedule, including 6 new Brussels Charleroi routes to Lisbon, Malta, Naples, Plovdiv, Varna and Wroclaw, and more flights to Alicante, Brindisi, Porto and Sofia, (100 routes in total,) which will help deliver 8.7m customers p.a. through Brussels Zaventem and Charleroi next year.
Ryanair’s Brussels S18 schedule will deliver:
- 15 routes in total, including Barcelona (3 daily), Dublin (2 daily), Madrid (2 daily) and Rome (2 daily)
- 4m customers p.a.
- 1,800* on-site jobs
- 6 new routes: Lisbon (daily), Malta (daily), Naples (4 wkly), Plovdiv (2 wkly), Varna (2 wkly) & Wroclaw (3wkly)
- More flights to: Alicante (daily), Brindisi (3 wkly), Porto (6 wkly) & Sofia (5 wkly)
- 3m customers p.a.
- 4,700* on-site jobs
Belgian consumers and visitors can book their holidays as far out as October 2018, on even lower fares, and enjoy the latest “Always Getting Better” improvements including:
- Reduced checked-in bag fees – one €25 fee, one 20kg size
- 20 Air Europa long haul routes from Madrid on sale on Ryanair.com
- Connecting flights at Rome Fiumicino and Milan Bergamo with more airports to follow
- A new partnership with Erasmus Student Network offering discounts & a dedicated booking platform
- Alexa voice recognition to search flights, hotels and flight status on the Ryanair.com website
Ryanair will continue to connect Brussels with major business centres on high frequency, low fare services including Barcelona (4 daily), Dublin (3 daily), Madrid (3 daily) and Rome (3 daily), on the lowest lower fares, making Ryanair the ideal choice for Belgian business and leisure customers and visitors.
In Brussels, Ryanair’s Eddie Wilson said:
We are pleased to launch our Brussels summer 2018 schedule, which includes 6 new Charleroi routes to Lisbon, Malta, Naples, Plovdiv, Varna and Wroclaw, more flights to Alicante, Brindisi, Porto and Sofia, and 100 routes in total, which will deliver 8.7m customers through our two Brussels airports this year. Belgian customers and visitors are booking our winter 2017 seats in record numbers as fares continue to fall, so there’s never been a better time to book a low fare flight on Ryanair.
To celebrate the launch of our Brussels summer 2018 schedule we are releasing seats for sale from just €9.99 for travel from September to November which are available for booking until midnight Sunday (17 Sep). Since these amazing low prices will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.
*ACI research confirms up to 750 ‘on-site’ jobs are sustained at international airports for every 1m passengers