Ryanair Executive President (CEO) Michael O’Leary defended today that the government that pulls out of January’s elections must “stop wasting money” on the “failed project” of the TAP bailout.
“Whatever Government is elected, we hope that, in the first place, it will stop wasting money that should have gone to schools, hospitals, teachers and nurses in a failed project, such as the rescue of TAP”, defended the head of the airline of Irish low cost, at a press conference in Lisbon.
Secondly, Ryanair called on the Portuguese government to force the Portuguese airline to release ‘slots’ (authorizations to take off and land within a certain period of time) at Lisbon airport.
“We can recover routes, traffic and jobs in the summer of 2022 if the Government simply tells TAP ‘there is no more State aid, if they don’t free up the slots. If you’re not going to use them, let them go!” Michael O’Leary stressed.
For the official, TAP’s restructuring plan, which is still awaiting the ‘green light’ from the European Commission, “will never happen”, and he considered that the “rumors” about Turkish Airlines’ interest in the Portuguese company, advanced today by Negócios, “it cannot happen, because they are not a European Union company” and in these cases they cannot have a majority position in the airline.
Ryanair insisted that the Portuguese government must introduce a flag company turnaround scheme that does not discriminate against other companies.
Ryanair today announced 17 new routes in Portugal, for next summer, where it will have five bases and 28 aircraft.
According to Michael O’Leary, there is an opportunity to grow quickly in Portugal, as its competitors are “shrinking”.
Ryanair is currently training 700 new pilots and has 1,300 waiting to start training in January.
Last week, the Irish airline presented its new base in Madeira, where it will provide 350,000 seats on 10 routes connecting to that autonomous region in 2022, including Lisbon and Porto.
Asked today about previous statements in which he said Ryanair did not fly to Madeira because the airport tax was too high, Michael O’Leary said the airline changed its mind.