According to a report by Públituris, Ryanair is insisting on the distribution of TAP slots in time for the summer and has delivered an ultimatum to the Prime Minister, António Costa, saying that unless the leader of the executive “intervenes this week to freeing the slots not used by TAP”, the airline “will be forced to reduce 7 planes to 4, at its base at Portela Airport, in Lisbon, at the end of this week”.

In a statement sent to the press, Ryanair reveals that they have sent an “appeal to the Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa to take immediate measures and demand that TAP release 18 daily slots – which it cannot and will not use in the summer 2022 – in order to allow Ryanair to operate 7 aircraft based in Lisbon, saving 20 routes, 1 million passengers and €250 million spent by visitors in Lisbon in summer 2022”.

In the statement, Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair, complains that, to date, he has not received any response to the letter sent to the Prime Minister on 16 February, and explains that it was for this reason that he has now returned to writing to the minister, asking him “to intervene urgently to save these planes, routes, passengers, and jobs in Lisbon, for summer 2022″.

Ryanair explains that, if the scheduled timings are followed, the slots will only be available next winter, but the company says that by then it will be too late that “Ryanair will not need these slots after summer 2022″.

“Since TAP will not use these slots in summer 2022, they will be wasted, unless the prime minister intervenes and asks TAP to loan these slots to Ryanair, just for the summer, to save 20 routes, 1 million visitors, and the €250 million spent by them, in Lisbon. We ask Prime Minister António Costa to intervene this week”.

“If we do not get a positive response from your Cabinet, on March 4, these planes and routes in Lisbon will only be cancelled for Summer 2022”, adds Michael O’Leary.