Ryanair announced today the opening next summer of 18 new routes in Portugal, in Porto and Faro, and welcomed the regulator’s intervention that led to the reduction of fees charged by ANA in those airports.
In a virtual press conference, the executive presidents 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 those responsible, the decision came “in direct response to the intervention of ANAC [National Civil Aviation Authority], which forced ANA to reduce airport taxes in Porto and Faro next year.
Thus, each of those airports will have two more aircraft from the low-cost carrier.
According to the airline, the decision represents an additional investment of 400 million euros 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 therefore “there will be no additional growth in Lisbon, Madeira and the Azores” in 2023.
“Lisbon has gone up an unbelievable 12%, we have to reverse this rise, as in Porto and Faro. Lower taxes lead to more planes, more jobs, more connectivity and more tourism,” argued Eddie Wilson.
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 fees, 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, compared to other non-European vacation 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”.