“Stop wasting taxpayers’ money subsidising TAP”- Ryanair

By TPN, in News, Politics · 28-05-2021 01:00:00 · 11 Comments

Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, has deemed a meeting with the Infrastructure minister as being “pointless” while lashing out against “false” claims regarding his company.

Michael O’Leary, held a video conference call with Portuguese Infrastructure Minister Pedro Nuno Santos on 26 May.

According to a press release sent to The Portugal News: “During that call, Ryanair criticised the false claims made by Minister Santos in recent days that; Ryanair was “waging commercial war to gain market share” – (False - this is called competition). Ryanair engages in “social dumping” practices (False - Ryanair cabin crew pay is double what Portuguese nurses and teachers earn). Ryanair does “not respect workers’ rights” (False - Ryanair has negotiated CLA agreements with both its pilot and cabin crew unions). Ryanair is subsidised by Portugal to fly to Porto, Faro and the Azores (False - Ryanair receives the same discounts and tourism support that other airlines would if they opened bases and created hundreds of jobs in Porto, Faro and the Azores”.

According to Ryanair, “Santos claimed that Portugal has the right to invest in TAP. Ryanair agrees that Portugal has this “right”, but it does not believe that €3 billion of scarce Portuguese taxpayers’ funds should be diverted from investment in schools, hospitals and other much need infrastructure to subsidise a failed, high fare flag carrier airline like TAP.

“TAP has little value, as proven by the fact that the Portuguese Government acquired 45 percent from David Neeleman for just $45m. However, Ryanair condemns the Portuguese Government’s desire to subsidise TAP with €3bn of funds which should more properly be spent on Portuguese hospitals, schools and improvements in infrastructure such as Montijo Airport”.

Ryanair, during the meeting, called on Minister Santos to open Montijo Airport, where “Ryanair could deliver 5 million passengers, which would create 5,000 well paid jobs for pilots, cabin crew and airport staff in Montijo”. According to the press release: “Minister Santos had nothing to say. He is more interested in wasting taxpayers’ money subsidising TAP (which is his Government’s right), but refuses to invest a fraction of this money in Montijo, which would create more slots, more visitors and more well paid jobs in Lisbon”.

In the meantime, Ryanair claim that they have “highly paid pilots and cabin crew in Portugal, all of whom are covered by union negotiated CLA’s and enjoy excellent rosters”. The company then stated that they intend to “continue to invest in Portuguese Airports in Porto, in Lisbon, in Faro and in Ponta Delgada as well. Ryanair also during the call offered to further invest in its Labs IT teams in Lisbon and offered to discuss with Minister Santos the opportunity to open aircraft maintenance bases in Portugal, each of which would bring 300-500 more well paid engineering jobs.

“Minister Santos wasn’t interested in these infrastructure discussions, all he wants to do is subsidise TAP and criticise Ryanair despite the fact that Ryanair continues to invest in Portugal, grow visitor numbers to Portugal, and offer Portuguese citizens low air fares, something they have been denied for years by TAP”.

Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary said: “We had an interesting although pointless discussion with Minister Santos this morning. We condemn his false claims over recent days that Ryanair is waging a commercial war, when this is called competition. We also reject his false claims that Ryanair engages in “social dumping” when we pay our cabin crew more than double what his Government’s pay Portuguese nurses and teachers in a year. Ryanair objects to €3 billion of Portuguese taxpayers’ funds, which should be spent on Portuguese hospitals, Portuguese schools and increasing the pay of school teachers and nurses being squandered on TAP, a tiny airline which has only ever offered Portugal high fares. In Summer 2021, Ryanair will operate over 120 routes to/from Portugal. This is almost double the 70 routes offered by TAP, and unlike TAP, we are not seeking €3 billion of subsidies from the Portuguese taxpayer, which must come at the expense of spending on hospitals, schools, teachers and nurses.

“Ryanair will invest in Portugal. We will continue to bring new visitors to Portugal, and we will continue to recognise the rights of all our workers to join unions, and be represented by those unions, while at the same time paying our pilots up to €150,000 p.a and our cabin crew between €30,000 to €40,000 p.a., which is double what Minister Santos pays to Portugal’s nurses and teachers.

“We again call on Minister Santos to stop wasting taxpayers’ money on TAP, and invest in infrastructure, and his immediate priority should be the opening of Montijo Airport, where Ryanair could - within 2 years - deliver 5 million passengers and create over 5,000 new very well paid jobs in Lisbon,” concluded O’Leary.


Related articles


Ryanair shouldn't be surprised, Portugal has a Socialist govt and Socialists think everything should be taxed or subsidized, and that the State has the answer to all and should be running people's lives.
It's astonishing how people think an airline should exist just for patriotic and nationalistic reasons, even if it's not viable and cannot be run profitably. O'Leary is right that it's unfair to be pumping public money into TAP when funds are tight and it is the taxpayer that foots the bill for this vanity project.

By B. Bissett from Porto on 29-05-2021 10:13

Such a shame Mr O'Leary can't just shut *** **** up!

By Stephen E. from UK on 29-05-2021 10:00

A businessman from Ireland should hardly be complaining about government subsidies. Either way, Ryanair is a low cost airline for a reason. I'm certainly not defending TAP as their service and prices leave much to be desired (when they're not on strike), but Ryanair's CEO is hardly the person to be calling them out on service shortfalls.

By Paul Ferreira Jacinto from Lisbon on 29-05-2021 08:59

Michael o leary is a irrelevant and baron capitalist. He has used all subsidies and abused his employees and shareholders. He has absolutely no moral highground to preach to a national airline in a rude way. Arrogant guy
And this Irish man has no business to be condescending and preach to Portuguese govt on wasting taxpayers money. Bloody hypocrite Instead of comparing what his crew earns with portuguese teachers and nurses (irrelevant) and if he has half a brain should compare apple with apple. Compare with klm or lufthnasa crew. Such a moron
Make sure you know the preacher before you read his message.... This is the way public opinion. And being influenced with b******* happens through history

By Joao from Lisbon on 28-05-2021 10:06

Michael o leary is a nobody relevant to portugal and baron capitalist. He has used all subsidies and abused his employees and shareholders. He has absolutely no moral highground to preach to a national airline.

By Joao from Lisbon on 28-05-2021 10:02

So O'Leary says it's a waste of time saving TAP
TAP is part of our heritage seeing the colours of Portugal in the sky makes me proud to be Portuguese
I fly mostly TAP only fly other airlines if there is no TAP option
Flew Ryanair once from Porto to Beauvais
Hated it never going to fly with Ryanair again not even as a corpse
Get lost O'Leary

By Elias de Andrade from Lisbon on 28-05-2021 04:21

What rubbish to run out the usual right wing crap about Communists. If you find waiters rude maybe you should examine your own attitudes. I have not found one rude waiter in the 2 years I have lived here.

By Geoffrey from Algarve on 28-05-2021 04:20

TAP is a pleasant airline to fly on Ryanair is not

By Carl Spurling from UK on 28-05-2021 02:00

I don’t always agree with the RyanAir chief but he is absolutely right. It is a disgrace the money spent propping up TAP when the medical system is in chaos.

By Lauree from Lisbon on 28-05-2021 12:01

O’Leary is correct EXCEPT his airline is unbelievably uncomfortable, the staff are rude, the service non-existent. I won’t set foot on his aircraft.

By Hardwick from Algarve on 28-05-2021 11:25

Portugal, a communist entity, run by communists, portugal is a failed business model, portugal has sunshine, beaches, and nothing else.

Rude waiters, crap service, dodgy food places, and now a hatred of foreigners, Communism is the ideology of jealousy, envy and hate!
I5 is the arch enemy of capitalism and the free market, and stifles innovation and hard work.
Communism has already murdered over 200 million people and counting,
That’s 4 x more than the NaZis, only the ideology of islam has killed more people!
Portugal is a hotbed for aspiring communist tyrants,
Just look now, Antonio Gutteres, barroso, Costa, and many many more if these marxist maoist tyrants are from portugal.
Open your eyes people!

By Vadim Solzhenitsyn from Other on 28-05-2021 10:50
Interactive Topics, send us your comments/opinion on this article.

Please note that The Portugal News may use selected comments in the printed edition of the newspaper.