“TAP shamefully continues to absorb 3.2 billion euros in Portuguese state aid, offering even fewer flights and much higher fares to the detriment of the Portuguese tourist market, economic growth and taxpayers’ money”, states Ryanair.

The low cost airline, which from the very beginning has been criticising state aid to TAP, specifies that the Portuguese flag carrier costs “300 euros for every man, woman and child in Portugal”, Portuguese taxpayers’ money that Ryanair says be a “waste”, not least because TAP has been reducing its operations, unlike Ryanair.

“It is inexplicable that TAP is absorbing 3.2 billion euros of state aid, and is still reducing capacity and charging high tariffs, especially to Portuguese citizens trying to get home to see friends and family during the Christmas season – more than double Ryanair's fares in many cases”, says a Ryanair spokesperson, quoted in a press release.