Tension grows between Government and Ryanair

 In Aviation, Companies, News

Portugal’s minster for infrastructures, Pedro Nuno Santos, has sent a clear message to low-cost airline Ryanair that the “government does not accept interference or lessons” from an overseas airline.

The statement was made after Ryanair attacked the government for “wasting money” on TAP. Nuno Santos said that Ryanair was only in Portugal because it was “financially worthwhile for it to be so”.
The minister of infrastructures had a meeting on Wednesday with the CEO of Ryanair, Edward Wilson when the latter continued to insist that the Portuguese government is “wasting money” with “failed TAP”.
Pedro Nuno Santos responded by accusing Ryanair of “taking advantage of a difficult situation” and would not take “lessons and accept interference from an overseas airline.”
“Ryanair is a private company and does not have to interfere in the sovereign decisions taken by the Portuguese government. Portugal is a democratic and sovereign state and does not accept interference from a company that is only answerable to its shareholders,” the minister said in a communiqué.
The minister added that Ryanair was seeking to “exploit a difficult situation” caused by the pandemic by “attacking a number of European companies (airlines) which have a key importance for Member-States” and that the “meeting which took place today at the request of Pedro Nuno Santos, made this clear for all”.
The investment planned for TAP is “strategic and structural” the statement read. The minister stressed that although the Ryanair investment in Portugal had been “welcome” it is important to make clear that the company is “only in Portugal because it is financially favourable”.
“It is a question of profit and not a favour to the Portuguese State or the Portuguese. Ryanair only came to Portugal because it is in its interest to do so.”