Brussels Airlines threatens move to Ireland

Victoria
By Victoria March 29, 2012 15:51

Brussels Airlines threatens move to Ireland

Belgian airline Brussels Airlines has threatened to leave the country in protest over alleged government aid to Ryanair. The airline said it would move to Ireland or Luxembourg unless it receives government tax breaks to correct “the distortion in competition” caused by aid to the Irish low-cost carrier.
Chief executive Bernard Gustin, told newspaper De Morgen: “We would like to stay in Belgium, but this can’t go on. If you are not ready to do something against the distortion in competition, we will go looking for another headquarters.”
The European Commission investigated the advantages Ryanair was given in return for opening a base at Charleroi airport in 1997 and in 2004 Ryanair was ordered to repay funds from the government but this was over-ruled on appeal in 2008. The Commission has however recently re-opened the investigation to extend the scope of the inquiry.
A Ryanair spokesman said: “Ryanair’s arrangements with all EU airports comply with competition rules. This latest Commission goose chase is hard to understand when at the same time the EC bans its bureaucrats from even travelling to Charleroi airport.”

Victoria
By Victoria March 29, 2012 15:51
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