Charleroi airport CEO: “For 2017 we will lose 50,000 to 60,000 passengers, the airport is going through a crisis that will last.”


Charleroi Brussels South is suffering from the current Ryanair crisis (yesterday the airline announced a further cancellation of 18,000 flights), Brussels South Charleroi airport CEO Jean-Jacques Cloquet admitted to Belgian RTBF: “For 2017 we will lose 50,000 to 60,000 passengers, the airport is going through a crisis that will last.

The airport CEO retains his confidence in his main partner, but has already initiated a policy of diversification in order to keep the “social and economical” model of the airport. “There is no threat to employment but a reduction of passengers has an impact on non-aviation revenues. Shops and other business will suffer.”

Because Ryanair is massively canceling flights the CEO predicts that in 2017 between 50,000 and 60,000 passengers will not travel through Charleroi airport: “Our financial results were already very good, so we will be fine.

It’s a known issue at Charleroi airport: “8 out of 10 flights are operated by Ryanair, if the Irish airline catches a cold, the airport is sneezing. For 20 years we have been addicted to Ryanair”. To tackle a difficult 2018, the airport is planning to diversify: already four airlines were added in two years. (of which Pegasus Airlines, Air Corsica and Belavia)

The relationship between Jean-Jacques Cloquet and Ryanair remains good: “Ryanair warned us and apologized, I hope that the pilot-issue will be solved, but I believe that Ryanair will have to change its business model.”

Another concern for the Walloon airport is that its biggest Italian partner (Save), which owns 27% of the capital, would like to leave the ship. While other Walloon companies such as Thomas & Piron or Albert Frère would be interested in getting on board. “We have to be sure that Save wants to sell their part but we don’t know their plans. Anyway it would be an opportunity to welcome regional partners. Those partners could facilitate our investment projects, an extension of the runway in 2020-2021 is essential to attract intercontinental flights and long-haul low-cost flights to the airport“.

Full article (in French):

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