The executive chairmen of the Ryanair group, Michael O'Leary, announced the opening of seven new routes from Faro and 11 from Porto next year.
Ryanair announced on Wednesday that it was opening 8 new routes in Portugal next summer, from Porto and Faro, and welcomed the regulator’s intervention that led to a reduction in the fees charged by ANA at those airports.
In a virtual press conference, the executive chairmen of the Ryanair group, Michael O’Leary, and of the airline, Eddie Wilson, imbued with the spirit of the season, announced “Christmas presents for Portugal”, with the opening of seven new routes from Faro and 11 from Porto next year.
According to them, the decision came “in direct response to the intervention of ANAC [National Civil Aviation Authority], which forced ANA to reduce airport charges in Porto and Faro next year”.
Thus, each of those airports will have two more aircraft from the low-cost carrier.
According to the carrier, the decision represents an additional investment of €400 million in Portugal and the creation of 120 new local jobs.
The Irish airline lamented, however, that the regulator “has not been able to persuade ANA to lower charges at other airports,” and so “there will be no additional growth in Lisbon, Madeira or the Azores” in 2023.
“Lisbon has gone up an unbelievable 12%, we have to reverse this rise, as in Porto and Faro. Lower rates lead to more planes, more jobs, more connectivity and more tourism,” Eddie Wilson said.
From Faro, Ryanair will also fly to Aarhus (Denmark), Belfast (Northern Ireland), Exeter (England), Frankfurt Hahn (Germany), Rome Fiumicino (Italy) and Toulouse (France).
From Porto, new routes will open to Bristol, Leeds (England), Castellon (Spain), Maastricht (Netherlands), Nimes, Strasbourg (France), Shannon (Ireland), Stockholm (Sweden), Trapani, Turin (Italy) and Wroclaw (Poland).
“In addition to excessive charges, another threat to the growth of tourism in Portugal comes in the form of ETS [environmental charges], which unfairly target short-haul flights, with a recent proposal to include the outermost regions of the European Union, including Madeira, as early as 2024,” Michael O’Leary pointed out.
For the airline leader, if this measure is approved, “tourists will face higher costs when visiting Madeira, in relation to other non-European holiday destinations, which means that the island will probably lose visitors to destinations outside the EU, such as Morocco, Turkey and Jordan, which are exempt from paying ETS”.