The low-cost airline Ryanair has announced that it will launch 11 new routes from Charleroi during the upcoming winter season, promising to create 200 new jobs in Belgium for pilots, cabin crew and engineers.
From the end of October, the eleven new routes will connect the Walloon airport to:
- Billund (Denmark),
- Stockholm (Sweden),
- Genoa (Italy),
- Suceava (Romania),
- Helsinki (Finland),
- Trapani (Italy),
- Lourdes (France),
- Tetouan (Morocco),
- Poznan (Poland),
- Trieste (Italy),
- Sibiu (Romania).
"Ryanair is determined to help boost tourism and aviation in Belgium by restoring connectivity to Brussels as air travel gradually returns to pre-Covid levels," Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said in a press release.
Charleroi airport reported its first encouraging results in over a year in July 2o21, with a noticeable jump in those looking to travel abroad. According to the results, 558,328 passengers passed through the airport in July 2021, significantly higher than 2020 figures (241,234) but still 31% lower than July 2019.
"We have experienced some turbulence and there are still many challenges ahead, but July has shown us that there is still demand for travel," Philippe Verdonck, CEO of de Brussels South Charleroi Airport, explained. "We must continue our efforts to get back on to an even keel and bring about the return to normality that everyone is hoping for."
The new routes will also expand the number of Ryanair planes calling Belgium a permanent base, rising from 13 to 15 to keep up with demand.
Ryanair's winter routes will be boosted with the addition of 55 new Boeing 737-8200 planes, he added. "Our new 'Gamechanger' aircraft burns 16% less fuel, makes 40% less noise, and carries 4% more passengers. This $22 billion investment in cleaner aircraft will help Ryanair achieve net carbon neutrality by 2050."
The 200 new jobs will be split between Brussels South Charleroi Airport (150) and Brussels Airport in Zaventem (50).