First of all I´d like to say hello to this community - in fact I just payed the membership for having the possibility to say some words on FR
and the policy of certain airports-regions-whatever (quite an expensive answer, isnt it?)
I do nothing say against FR
- they dont directly ask for money from certain regions/airports - it is the airports or cities asking FR
to come in most cases.
Let´s take for instance KLU
airport. This airport has been served over the years by 3-4 turbopropflights of VO
/OS to connect this rather small town with VIE
. For a short period LX
had flights to ZRH
too. In addition there are a couple of charters during holiday season to the usual mediterranean areas. The airport normally is boring and almost dead.
The airport manager of KLU
always was and is still keen playing "big airport". So KLU
airport together with the regional tourism office asked FR
to start flying LON to KLU
- and FR
did - by getting a "promotional payment" of almost 1 million Euros per year - of course just in the name of "increasing tourism".
Yes - tourists from the UK came (and still come) to the holiday region of Carinthia - low budget holidaymakers - I would even call them trampers. The local economy including hotels, restaurants, a.s.o. didnt see much money until now from the FR
passengers. So the regional tourism office sponsored tourism which didnt bring in money so far.
But the airport had a daily London flight. Then FR
added a daily flight to CIA
- great - this was subsidised by the local chamber of economics as it was a good thing - bringing in another "world destination" - good for business, good for the local economy. In roughly 10 days the big world will get smaller for KLU
stops flying CIA
due to empty a/c´s.
Next to come to KLU
was HLX - again low budget flights from 4 German cities to KLU
- subsidised by almost zero airport charges. Great performance - the first destination will be cancelled shortly and I have no doubts others will follow.
For all that OS
/VO is still flying the 5 daily connecting flights to VIE
and 2 flights to FRA
. They have always flown to KLU
, they developed the traffic out of KLU
, the always supported the airport and the local economy. And they always paid full AP
taxes. And have not received "tourism sponsoring" or "economy sponsoring".
Most of the LCC´s - be it FR
- whatever the names are - they just fly either on routes being purely for the leisure traveller or do serve destinations they get paid for. In case they would have to pay the same amount of money to airports like all the other airlines and would not receive "subsidies" I do bet they would quickly pull out of most markets (or would never go in).
But from all LCC´s I do think FR
has the worst policy in this respect. As far as Charleroi Airport is concerned - I would say "yes FR
has to repay" but in addition I would fine BSCA with the same amount of money. And I would do it with everyone paying money to FR
"just to have some aircraft on the apron".
My 2 cents in my first post