According to a report by ECO, Luís Araújo says that the Irish company continues to have more presence than it had in 2019 and that most routes serve, above all, to take Portuguese people abroad.
Madrid, Malta, Birmingham, Palermo, Tenerife and Krakow are some of the 19 routes cancelled by Ryanair in Lisbon in the summer. And all because, according to the company, the Government did not release the “unused” slots held by TAP at that airport.
The decision has not yet received any reaction from the Government, nor from TAP, but the president of Turismo de Portugal says that the consequences for tourism will be few. “Still, Ryanair has 26% more [presence] than it had in 2019”, says Luís Araújo, in statements to ECO. In addition, “most of the cancelled markets serve much more to take Portuguese people abroad than to bring foreigners here”.
Although he says that “it is always worrying when airlines change their strategy”, the official notes that, based on the weight of Ryanair and the fact that they are outbound routes, tourism “continues to have good prospects for the future”.
Last Wednesday, when Ryanair announced the cancellation of these routes, Ryanair blamed the Government. “These cancellations – which could be avoided – take place after numerous attempts, on the part of Ryanair, to ask the Portuguese Government to intervene in the release of slots unused by TAP in summer 2022”, said the Irish company, in a statement.
Michael O’Leary pointed out as consequences the “loss of 150 well-paid aviation jobs”, “more than 900,000 passengers” and “more than 250 million euros in tourist income” for Lisbon. “Our latest efforts to ask the prime minister for help resulted in a total of zero responses,” said the company's chief executive.