Ryanair anticipates 22% traffic boost for Portugal in summer 2024

A Ryanair Boeing 737 passes overhead.
Photo Credit: Lewis Chesworth/AviationSource

Ryanair has unveiled a grand summer schedule for 2024, with a special focus on Portugal.

In an announcement made on February 7th, Ryanair revealed its plans for an extensive network of 14 new routes, connecting travelers to captivating cities such as Stockholm, Rome, Madrid, and Pisa.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said: “We are delighted to announce the biggest schedule for summer 2024 in Portugal, where we continue to grow and open 14 new routes.”

“Ryanair’s increased 2024 summer schedule will allow the airline to increase Portuguese traffic by 22% in 2024,” said O’Leary. The airline’s commitment to Portugal will see a significant capital investment to support the proposed route expansion.

Ryanair Summer 2024 Schedule

New Routes

One of the major aspects of Ryanair’s summer 2024 schedule is the introduction of 14 new routes.

These routes promise to open doors to exciting destinations, including Alicante, Stockholm, Belfast, Budapest, Krakow, Norwich, Marrakech, Rome, Ibiza, Madrid, Pisa, Poznan, and Tangier (2 routes).

With such a diverse array of cities to explore, travelers will likely be spoiled for choice when it comes to planning their next getaway.

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A line-up of Ryanair aircraft at sunset.
Photo Credit: Ryanair

Expanded Network

Ryanair’s connectivity will span a network of 170 routes. With the implementation of its ambitious summer schedule, Ryanair anticipates a significant surge in passenger numbers, reaching a commendable 13.5 million passengers per year.

The airline has invested a substantial $3 billion in deploying 28 aircraft to support its operations in the country.

This investment not only bolsters the aviation sector but also contributes to the economy by creating and sustaining 11,000 jobs, including opportunities for pilots, cabin crew, and engineers.

Ryanair cabin crew staff at London Stansted.
Photo Credit: Ryanair

Challenges Amidst Growth

Impact of ANA Monopoly

Despite the promising outlook, Ryanair faces challenges stemming from the monopoly held by ANA (Aeroportos de Portugal).

The recent decision by ANA to hike airport rates by a staggering 17% has had detrimental effects on Ryanair’s operations.

The closure of the Ryanair base in Ponta Delgada and the withdrawal of aircraft from Madeira underscore the adverse consequences of these rate hikes.

Furthermore, additional cuts in services at Faro and Porto airports further exacerbate the situation, posing obstacles to the airline’s growth trajectory in Portugal.

Call for Government Intervention

Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, has voiced staunch opposition to ANA’s monopoly practices and called upon the Portuguese government to intervene.

O’Leary emphasizes the urgent need to open Montijo Airport to introduce much-needed competition and alleviate the stranglehold imposed by ANA/VINCI monopoly.

“Higher fees from the ANA monopoly are forcing airlines like Ryanair to reduce regional flights to/from Portugal,” said O’Leary.

“This decision will further harm the growth of tourism in Portugal and jobs. We have already seen this in the regional islands of Portugal, where Ryanair was forced to close its Ponta Delgada base and downsize one of its two Madeira aircraft – a loss of $100 million in investment – due to ANA’s excessive rate increases.”

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Ryanair is investing heavily in its Portugal network, anticipating an increase in Portuguese traffic by 22% in 2024.
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