RYANAIR will be cancelling their route between Charleroi and London from 29 April.
The move comes in response to the European Commission’s decision earlier this month that found the low cost airline had received illegal incentives from the airport.
The low cost airline currently operates eight flights a day on the route and this cut will see a 10% drop in the number of flights.
Ryanair confirmed that this reduction in daily flights at Charleroi was the first element of its response to ‘the European Commission’s recent decision to increase costs at Charleroi and require that Ryanair’s passengers should pay higher fares’.
Ryanair will appeal this decision to the European Court in Luxembourg, but while this appeal is underway, aircraft capacity will be reallocated to other lower cost airports.
Chief Executive, Michael O’Leary said: “These capacity reductions are bad news for customers at Brussels Charleroi, but good news for other lower cost airports.
“As the Brussels-London route had the lowest fares, this route cannot be sustained if costs are to be increased as a result of the Commission’s decision to increase ticket prices by €6 to €8 per ticket.
“These flights will now operate on lower cost routes between private airports such as London Stansted, Glasgow Prestwick, Stockholm Skavsta and London Luton.”
Michael O’Leary continued by saying they would be meeting the airport authorities and Wallonia regional government to discuss a way forward.
But rather ominously said: “If costs are increased, or the Walloon Authorities do not share our vision for the lowest possible air fares for ordinary people.
“Then there will be further flight reductions and route closures, as aircraft are sent to other airports where the cost base is already significantly lower than Ryanair’s original costs at Charleroi Airport.”
It is still unclear what impact the European Commission’s decision will have on Ryanair’s plans for airports across the rest of Europe.