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Ryanair halts Brussels expansion due to noise fines
Ryanair has said it will not launch any new routes from Brussels Airport until a solution can be found to what it calls "ridiculous fines" for aircraft noise.
The Irish budget airline - Belgium's biggest carrier with a 28% market share - says several of its new summer destinations which were intended for Zaventem will fly from Charleroi instead.
Chief executive Michael O'Leary was due to meet Brussels Airport management on Tuesday evening. "We can't take any risk until a solution is found," he said. "We chose not to go ahead because of these ridiculous fines and this stupid law."
According to the airline, take-offs between 6.00 and 7.00 in the morning have attracted noise fines of €6,000 per flight.
In the winter timetable, Ryanair says it secured departure slots after 7.00 for all of its 14 routes out of Zaventem - but that this could change from March.
Ryanair will fly to Naples and Lisbon from Charleroi this summer, as well as Eilat (Israel), Plovdiv and Varna (Bulgaria) and Wroclaw (Poland).
Meanwhile, Brussels Airlines announced on Tuesday that it was close to obtaining permission from Indian civil aviation authorities to fly direct to Mumbai from next month.
The national carrier plans to operate five weekly flights, filling a gap left by Jet Airways which had served the Indian city from Amsterdam-Schipol.