“I do not know if this ‘ashamed to fly’ will take here as it took in the Nordic countries. Even for short distances …” Charleroi Airport CEO Philippe Verdonck said on Saturday in La Libre.
“The environmental movement exists, but on the other hand, IATA (International Air Transport Association) announced again this week that air traffic will double, if not more, by 2035. This is contradictory information,” said Verdonck.
He said he was “not opposed” to an environmental or kerosene tax on air travel but would prefer a European solution. With the risk that companies leave Belgium.
“There is much talk of the train replacing aircraft but the infrastructure is lacking,” he said. “The train can become a real competitor on certain distances, but it depends on the destination.”
The CEO compares his company’s standing to that of Brussels Airport. “Charleroi is no longer a low-cost airport: 65% of our passengers departing in the morning are in business. Of course, we have low-cost companies here, as does Brussels Airport. But look at our buildings. They have nothing to do with other low-cost airports which can be seen in Europe.”
Philippe Verdonck also announced that the security tent that had been set up in front of the Charleroi airport following the Brussels attacks will be removed. It will be replaced by a permanent structure that will include retail space.