Ryanair quits Ostend
4 December 2003
BRUSSELS – Low-cost Irish airline Ryanair is to stop flying out of the northern Belgian regional airport of Ostend due to limited success on its Ostend to London Stansted route.
The service was inaugurated on 1 May, hoping to draw Flemish travellers away from Brussels airport, opting for an airstrip closer to home.
The airline claims that not enough seats were being sold.
Ostend airport said it is surprised by the move, saying that in the short time the route had been in existence, an average of 80 percent of seats were filled.
The Federal Budget Minister and Flemish Tourism Minister, two local politicians, have also voiced their disappointment and are hoping Ryanair will reconsider its decision.
Ryanair, whose European hub is in Charleroi, has also announced that it would be cancelling its Charleroi to Liverpool route but opening a Charleroi to Valladolid (Spain) route.
The company is currently enmeshed in a European Commission enquiry into the legality of the budget airline accepting monies from the Walloon region in return for custom at Charleroi airport.
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]
Subject: Belgian news