“The solution for Lisbon is Montijo. I do not support the construction of an airport in the middle of nowhere”, said Michael O’Leary.
When asked what would be the best location for the new airport, the head of Ryanair, considered that, with Montijo, “Lisbon is in the incredible position of being a capital served by two airports within the city”.
Michael O'Leary argues that Lisbon would benefit from the possibility of having two airports, Portela and Montijo, like Rome and Brussels, European capitals that also have two airports, as well as Barcelona, where there are three.
For O’Leary, there is no doubt that the construction of the new airport should take place in Montijo, especially because the airport already exists and, according to Michael O’Leary, all that remains is to build the terminal.
“The airport already exists, it just needs a terminal building and this can be done for less than 20 million euros”, he stated, adding that Ryanair would be willing to pay that amount to open the airport quickly, as they are already there 12 years wasted “in studies and environmental studies, other studies and more studies”.
Michael O'Leary also considers that Portela can receive a higher number of passengers than the more than 25 million it received last year, as is the case at other European airports which, like Lisbon, are also single-runway infrastructures.
“Portela is capable of easily receiving 30 or 40 million passengers. There is poor management, as we see from the example of Gatwick, which handles 60 million passengers and is also a single-runway airport. In the case of Dublin, the same thing happens and receives 34 million passengers per year”, considered the CEO of the Ryanair group.
Portela's capacity could be resolved easily, through a reorganisation of the terminal, since, he argued, so many check-in counters are no longer necessary, due to the mass expansion of online check-in.
“There are several measures that can be taken and one of them is simply to increase the number of slots, if the terminal were not an obstacle. This must also change because the way people use a terminal has also changed dramatically”, he explained, highlighting that “the majority of passengers check-in online” and that “long queues for check-in are a thing of the past”.