Over the past two decades, Ryanair has been spearheading the growth of the tourism industry in the Algarve. “Ryanair was the first low-cost airline to get on the Algarve, and it started off a massive success, and like all massive successes, others soon followed,” Daniel Alexandre Adro, Vice-President of the Algarve Tourism Association, explained. “We have seen the development, the increase of the quality of the offer, like in restaurants. We are such a better region because of the partnerships we have. It is a win-win partnership.”

Some new arrivals to Portugal came due to the lower flying costs when compared to traditional destinations. Others came in from entirely new routes. All in all, this partnership has certainly had a lot of effect. “Ryanair believed in us to take people here from other destinations far away from us,” said Adro who was thankful for the airline. “We do believe that Portugal has a lot of potential. I’m confident that in 10 years we will be back here to celebrate this partnership again.”

Biggest ever summer schedule

Country Manager for Spain & Portugal at Ryanair, Elena Cabrera, announced Ryanair’s plans for the summer of 2023 at Faro. “As Europe’s biggest airline, Ryanair is delighted to celebrate 20 years of operations in Faro with the launch of our biggest ever schedule for Summer ’23, with 47 exciting routes including 8 new routes to Aarhus, Barcelona, Belfast, Copenhagen, Exeter, Frankfurt, Rome, and Toulouse. This new schedule is underpinned by Ryanair’s commitment to Faro, basing 10 aircraft at Faro Airport,” which includes 2 new aircraft bought in a $1bn investment, and supporting over 3,000 jobs including 300 direct jobs.” This new expansion of the route offering introduces the country of Denmark to the portfolio of destinations accessible from Faro, with flights to the capital, Copenhagen, and the major city of Aarhus.

Credits: TPN; Author: Paula Martins;

Alberto Mota Raposo, President of Faro Airport, elaborated on the importance of Ryanair to the airport. “Ryanair is very important. Since October we’ve had more passengers when comparing to 2019. Sometimes, we have an event like a strike, but the performance is really good. We’re implementing solar panels in the airport; we’ve achieved so far 38 percent of our energy needs being sourced by them. We are changing our lighting system, at Faro Airport we’re one of the best in the world in this matter.”

Credits: Supplied Image; Author: Paula Martins;

A position for “all pockets”

Elena Cabrera also talked further about the projections for Ryanair’s performance in Faro, expecting “2.7 million passengers from Faro this year, which means a 20 percent increase in capacity.” She sang her praises for the region too, calling Faro “a beautiful place.” Having started with a flight connecting Faro and Berlin, and that same flight now runs 56 times a week. “We are really happy,” she continued. “The diversity of people we have, the Algarve positions itself for all pockets.”

Finally, Adro remarked humorously on the benefits of Ryanair: “You spend less on tickets and more in the country. It certainly benefits us, maybe not them [Ryanair]!”

This summer, Ryanair will be flying over 520 flights a week to and from Faro Airport.


Star in the 2015 music video for the hit single “Headlights” by German musician, DJ and record producer Robin Schulz featuring American singer-songwriter Ilsey. Also a journalist.

Jay Bodsworth