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FARE welcomes Court's decision in Charleroi case

18 December 2008
by eub2 -- last modified 18 December 2008

The Forum of European Regional Airports (FARE) has today welcomed the decision of the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg (CFI), which has ruled in favour of Ryanair in its case against the European Commission.


The Court ruled that 2004 European Commission decision cancelling Ryanair's agreement with Charleroi Airport (Belgium) was unlawful.

FARE believes that the partnership between regional airports and low cost airlines is a significant driver of growth for modern European air transportation system. Ryanair, the pioneer of European low cost aviation, played a key role in successful growth of regional airports in across the EU. Without low cost airlines many European regional airports would never had a chance to develop.

FARE Chairman Neil Pakey has commented on the CFI judgment:

"Regional airports face far too much red tape imposed by the European regulations. Looking forward, we believe the European Commission must start to acknowledge the distinctive nature of regional aviation. We continue to put the message to the Commission that 'one-size-fits-all' approach is not a solution for challenges currently faced by the European aviation." said Pakey, "This is a victory for common sense. Regional airports are key to the success of regions across Europe and we need to work hand-in-hand to bring good economic performance to the regions".

Pakey added "Today's judgment provides yet another argument that the European rules governing state aid to regional airports urgently need to be reviewed. Deteriorating economic situation means that we need to act fast, there is no more time to waste. A number of European regional airports already struggle to survive, and any further delay might have irreversible hostile effects."

Last week (11 December 2008) FARE has requested the European Commission to review EC Guidelines on state aid.

The Forum for European Regional Airports (FARE) represents the interests of regional airports across Europe. The organisation works closely with European government and other stakeholder partners on policy, regulatory issues and is composed of over 30 airport members from across the European Union. FARE's operations are directed by its seventh-member Executive Board and carried out by a central secretariat.

Forum of European Regional Airports (FARE)