According to the president of the Association of Algarve Hotels and Tourism Resorts (AHETA), Elidérico Viegas, the news of the Irish airline’s intention to close its base in Faro in January 2020 could lead to about a hundred job losses and should also lead the authorities to be “more cautious” in granting support for setting up these companies in the region in the future.
“We have seen this with concern if the news comes to fruition. The end of Ryanair’s Faro base means that sooner or later, although the airline will continue to claim that this will not affect the number of flights [to Faro], from our perspective it is obvious that the number of flights eventually will be fewer”, he told Lusa news agency.
Elidérico Viegas believes that “if there are fewer flights, there will be fewer tourists and fewer passengers” in the Algarve and this is viewed “with some concern, regardless of whether, after some time, as with these situations, passengers will eventually be diluted across other Airlines”.
“But this is very bad news for the Algarve,” he said.
Elidérico Viegas also warned of the need for a greater guarantee of compensation from these companies when they receive support for their setting up their company in the Algarve and, in this case, at Faro airport.
“Since subsidies and financial support have been awarded to Ryanair to create this base in Faro, in addition to other support that Ryanair has provided over the years to bring passengers to Faro, this kind of situation draws attention to the need to be more cautious in the way we conduct these negotiations and agreements, ”argued the association leader.
Elidérico Viegas acknowledged that “most of the Algarve’s competing destinations also support airlines” and the region “is not alone in doing so,” but warned that “consideration should always be given when agreements of this nature are established. ” with aviation companies.
“It should be said that Ryanair is the largest airline operating at Faro and has a share of almost 30 percent of the total traffic, it is not just any other airline, it is a very important company because it is the largest supplier of passengers to the airport and tourists to the Algarve, ”said Elidérico Viegas.
In contrast, the president of the Algarve tourism board, João Fernandes, has assured that the closure of the base will not affect the accessibility of the region.
Last week, the president of the National Civil Aviation Staff Union (SNPVAC), Luciana Passo, said that the decision to close the base was not related to the strike action planned by cabin crew later this month, nor was it connected to new bases opening in other European destinations.
“The decision has been in the pipeline for a long time and it was not due to the strike,” said Luciana Passo.