Ryanair's revolt continues over the unused slots that TAP keeps at Lisbon airport. After announcing that he estimates the cancellation of 20 routes in the Portuguese capital, the CEO of the low-cost company threatens to cut 150 jobs if the Government does not take action.
“I ask you to instigate TAP to release the 18 daily slots — which TAP cannot and will not use in the summer of 2022 — to Ryanair, so that we can keep our seven planes in Lisbon this summer and avoid closure of 22 routes and the loss of more than 150 jobs, among pilots and cabin crew", reads the document signed by Michael O'Leary.
The Irish company has been raising awareness of this slot issue for months. “If [the prime minister] supports this initiative [to free up slots], and if TAP frees up this tiny number of daily slots (less than 2% of the total it has), then Ryanair will keep investing in the seven planes in Lisbon in the summer of 2022. With these slots, we will transport one million more passengers to Lisbon and Portugal in the summer", says the CEO.
In addition, “with these slots”, continues the official, the Irish company will “increase the number of well-paid jobs that have been created for pilots, cabin crew and engineers in Lisbon”.
“If you [António Costa] refuse to act, and TAP continues to block slots, which cannot and will not be used, then Ryanair will be forced to withdraw three aircraft from Lisbon this summer and transfer them to other EU countries. And we will be forced to temporarily suspend 20 routes from Lisbon this summer, resulting in the loss of 150 jobs", reads the letter.
Tap is a drain on the delicate Portuguese economy and will continue to be until some government bites the bullet and shuts it down. The Belgians did. Brazil did. Withholding slots means that the so-called national carrier is actually contributing negatively to the tourist industry.
By Peter Kirby Higgs from Lisbon on 20 Feb 2022, 08:52