Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Brussels South Charleroi Airport & Ryanair against proposed Walloon air travel tax

Ryanair Boeing 737-800
 Ryanair has threatened to reduce traffic by 17% at Brussels South Charleroi Airport with the loss of 1 million passengers per year and 1,000 jobs , should a €3 air travel tax be introduced from 1st January 2014 by the regional Walloon Government as part of budgetary measures to close deficit by 2015.

The Belgian Government has rejected plans to introduce similar taxes in 2008 and since then traffic Charleroi Airport has more than doubled, from 2.5 million to over 6 million passengers in 2013.  Travel tax introduced in the Netherlands in 2008 was also removed by the Dutch government soon after in 2009, after it had cost over €1 Billion in revenue losses, with passengers who have changed to other airports cheaper in neighboring countries.

Brussels South Charleroi Airport (BSCA) has responded to the announcement of the tax of €3 on passengers traveling from the Walloon airports. In a statement, BSCA provides "a positive effect" on development, employment and "the economic benefits for the vast region."

According to BSCA in the short term "this additional tax" could represent a loss of more than 25% of the traffic, a decrease of more than one and a half million passengers with "the inevitable consequences of the employment " . BSCA estimated loss of 600 jobs to the airport and subcontractors operating on the site.

Ryanair's Robin Kiely said "Ryanair will reduce the traffic  by 17% if this self-destructive €3 tax  is introduced. This will cause the loss of a million passengers and Ryanair at Charleroi least 1,000 local jobs in 2014. This fee will also make non-competitive Wallonia with the result that passengers choose other cheaper airports. Surveys across Europe have clearly demonstrated the damage on traffic and employment following the introduction of passenger taxes, especially in Germany, Ireland and the UK, and we call upon the Belgian and Walloon governments remove these plans or damaging irrevocably traffic and jobs. Other EU countries have found growth by removing tourist taxes and reducing airport charges, in some cases to zero. "

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 17th July 2013 All Rights Reserved.