LONDON – Ryanair has announced on March 8 that they will stop flying to and from Lisbon for the summer season of 2022, causing the cancellations of 5,000 flights and 19 Lisbon routes due to TAP’s continued blocking of landing slots, which TAP themselves cannot and will not use at Lisbon Portela this summer, according to Ryanair.
These cancellations were avoidable. They come after Ryanair has attempted multiple times to pressure the Portuguese government to cancel TAP’s unused slots for the summer of 2022.
Despite the fact that Ryanair wants to help to deliver growth in Portugal, while TAP on the other hand, with its €3 billion aid from the Portuguese government, has cut its fleet by 20%, cut thousands of jobs yet released 5% of its total slots from Lisbon, which is thereby blocking the growth of other airlines.
Moves like this impact the operational aspect of other airlines, which includes Ryanair, as they had to cancel about 5,000 flights. These flights were operated by 3 planes, which have to be removed for the coming season.
Ryanair has confirmed that the 3 aircraft will return for the upcoming winter season, as Ryanair will be having enough slots to perform normally.
The routes that had to be canceled are:
The carrier’s chief Michael O’Leary said:
“We deeply regret all these unnecessary disruptions to passengers on these canceled flights and the loss of 19 routes caused solely by TAP’s blocking of unused Lisbon Portela slots in Summer 2022.”
“This anti-competitive slot blocking obstructs growth, and delays the recovery of traffic, tourism, and jobs at Lisbon Portela, to the detriment of the Lisbon economy.
“Our last efforts to request help from Prime Minister Costa have fallen on deaf ears with zero replies.”
“Sadly, Ryanair is now forced to reduce its fleet of aircraft from 7 to 4 in Lisbon in Summer 2022, a loss of 150 highly paid aviation job losses, over 900,000 fewer passengers, and over €250m in lost tourism revenues for the city of Lisbon this summer.”
“The loss of these 19 Lisbon routes and 5,000 flights this Summer, means that Lisbon’s post-Covid recovery will now lag behind other major EU capital cities.”
“Ryanair remains committed to returning these 3 aircraft and 19 routes to Lisbon in Oct for its winter schedule when we will resume driving traffic, tourism & jobs recovery in Lisbon.”