The managing committee of St. Etienne has decided to stop subsidising Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) and Pegasus Airlines (PC, Istanbul Sabiha Gökcen), bringing an end to low-cost services at the facility. Ryanair's contract finishes in October 2017, and the agreement with Pegasus Airlines will end in June 2018, reports France's Air Journal.

Ryanair currently connects St. Etienne to Porto 3x weekly and Fes 2x weekly. Turkish low cost carrier Pegasus flies to Istanbul Sabiha Gökcen 3x weekly. The capacity of the airport is expected to reduce from 150,000 passengers per year to 10,000.

According to Activradio, the Ryanair contract was costing the small airport EUR700,000 (USD745,300) per year, and the airport overall ran at a deficit of EUR2.14 million (USD2.27 million) in 2016.

St. Etienne is a small city in France's central east. The nearest commercial airport is Lyon St. Exupéry, about 65 kilometres away, which is also served by HOP! (A5, Paris Orly) and easyJet (U2, London Luton) for example.

The only other scheduled operator at St. Etienne's airport is Atlas Atlantique Airlines (L5, Nantes) which serves Oran and Setif in Algeria using A320-200s.