"We are launching our biggest ever schedule for the summer in Portugal, which includes four new planes, two in Porto and two in Faro", announced the executive president of the Irish airline, one of Ireland's business success stories, Michael O'Leary, at a press conference, in Lisbon.
The schedule foresees 11 new routes in Porto and eight new ones in Faro, representing an investment of 400 million euros, but, according to the official, there will be no growth in Lisbon, “because TAP continues to block slots that it does not use and does not intend to use”.
"We don't have new routes in Lisbon, it's not possible, we don't have room to continue to grow and, therefore, we continue to ask for a second airport, Montijo, which, for us, is the best option", stressed the carrier's manager for Portugal and Spain, Elena Cabrera.
Ryanair said, however, that it “continues to invest heavily in Portugal”, with a growth of 13% in the summer, compared to the same period in 2022, with the aim of reaching 13 million passengers in the fiscal year of 2024.
Michael O'Leary also said that the Government should fight the extension of environmental fees to peripheral areas of the European Union, arguing that they are "unfair" for regions such as Madeira and the Azores, which, he believes, will end up losing visitors to other areas outside the EU, like Morocco, or Turkey.
Regarding the reprivatisation of TAP, the leader of Ryanair expressed his conviction that the Portuguese airline will be sold this year, “probably” to the IAG group, and not to Air France or Lufthansa.
Asked about the impacts of inflation, O'Leary said that ticket prices on Ryanair should increase by 5% to 10%, this summer, compared to the last, "provided that no more adverse events occur".
Asked about the location of the new training centre on the Iberian Peninsula, whose decision should have been known in January, the president of Ryanair referred to a decision in mid-February.
“At the moment it looks like it will be in Porto, but Madrid has made a final offer”, which is being analysed, explained Michael O’Leary.