Almost a quarter of the 214 European airports where Ryanair operates are subsidised, according to an analysis published on Tuesday by the Transport & Environment (T&E) platform.
As a result, the increase in CO2 emissions by the low-cost carrier is being paid for by taxpayers, the platform charged.
T&E comprises about 60 organisations, including Inter-Environnement Wallonie and the Brussels grassroot movement Bral. It analysis only covers small airports, so the list is not exhaustive. Moreover, the authorities are not always transparent when it comes to subsidies, T&E noted.
According to the platform, 8% of the airports studied could not survive without public aid because of their very low passenger numbers.
The some 52 sites which, according to the platform, are subsidized, are located mainly in France and Italy. Charleroi, in Brussels, was not included in the analysis, but the platform includes BSCA among the subsidised airports.
The subsidies help increase emissions and, potentially, run counter European rules, Transport & Environment explained,
The European Commission, which is a guardian of competition, is tasked with checking the regularity of the assistance and has already condemned the public authorities to recover assistance given to airports.
The sector is one of the main polluters in Europe and Ryanair is among the top 10 emitters of CO2, T&E charged in a preceding publication.
“The Commission must end the assistance and draw up a plan comparable to the one done for the coal mines,” it recommended.