In Lisbon, Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair had already issued the ultimatum at a press conference in February. Several requirements followed the Portuguese government to intervene in what it considers to be the “blocking of slits [autorizações para aterrar ou levantar voo numa determinada hora] at Lisbon Airport” by TAP, and now comes the confirmation: at low price has just announced that it will not continue 19 lines in Lisbon for the summer of this year. The reason given in a press release: the “blocking of slits that TAP cannot use”.
Going forward with its own numbers, the company says the move could represent the “loss of 5,000 flights and 150 jobs” (which it does not specify), and that the number of planes based in Lisbon will be reduced. “from seven to four”, with an estimate of less than “900 thousand passengers”, with the consequent loss in terms of tourist receipts. These planes, introduced last November (when you announced 22 new lines in Lisbon)will return in the winter period, according to information from the company.
As for the tickets for these lines that have already been sold, of which slits were not guaranteed, says Ryanair “All passengers affected” by the cancellations “will receive email notifications by the end of this week, with the possibility of refunds or alternative flights to/from Lisbon for summer 2022”.
“This action is due to TAP continuing to block slits at Lisbon airport, which it cannot and does not want to use this summer”, defends itself in the press release, adding that “these cancellations – which could be avoided – come after numerous attempts, on the part of Ryanair , to ask the Portuguese government to intervene in the exit of slits unused by TAP as of summer 2022”.
The press release also quotes O’Leary, who considers that this “anti-competitive blocking” of slits “hampers growth and delays the recovery of traffic, tourism and jobs in Lisbon”. “Our last efforts to ask Prime Minister António Costa for help resulted in a total of 0 [zero] answers,” concludes O’Leary.
On February 16, Ryanair said that, “despite the potential loss” of 20 routes in Lisbon, it had “the biggest schedule ever for summer 2022 to/from Portugal, with more than 15 new routes (165 in total)”. exciting destinations like Bari, Billund, Madeira and Paris”.
Ryanair has filed a complaint against the slits tap since summer of last year. At a press conference in August,
Michael O’Leary argued that tap deliberately blocked slits which I did not use. One of the demands of the European Commission after the “green light” given to the Portuguese airline’s restructuring plan focused precisely on this issue, forcing TAP to give up 18 years. slits at Lisbon airport. However, the process will not have practical effects until next winter, and it remains to be seen who will be with these authorizations, in a process piloted by Brussels. In the event of a tie, TAP will have a say in which competitor will strengthen its position at Humberto Delgado Airport, which has already been criticized by Ryanair.