Ryanair reject Virgin Express charge

No-frills airline Ryanair has rejected Virgin Express’s claim that its subsidies at Charleroi is affecting Virgin's business.

No-frills airline Ryanair has rejected Virgin Express’s claim that its subsidies at Charleroi is affecting Virgin's business.

Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said today: "The problem for Virgin Express is that their fares are much too high, and they can't compete with real low-fares airlines.

"Virgin Express's average one-way fare, as confirmed by their results released this morning, is almost €80. This is almost double the Ryanair average fare of €46," O'Leary said.

Earlier, Virgin Express had reported what it termed as a "very modest" €1.68m profit for Q3, down 63%.

The Richard Branson-owned company blamed the results on over capacity at Charleroi, Brussels.

However, O’Leary retorted: "Ryanair's low-cost base at Brussels Charleroi has been offered to, and twice rejected by Virgin Express.

"They prefer to cover up their high fares and high costs by claiming, falsely, that Ryanair receives State Aid at Charleroi," the chief executive said.

Michael O'Leary has already indicated that he believes the European Commission will rule against Ryanair's operation there, but has vowed that the company will appeal such a decision.

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