Ryanair commercial boss calls idea of Lisbon becoming international hub “ridiculous”
Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer Jason McGuinness has dismissed any idea that Lisbon’s new airport could become an international hub as “ridiculous”.
According to an exclusive from the online news site ECO, Ryanair says that a new Lisbon international airport, contrary to conclusions from a study into upping airport capacity in the Lisbon region, said it would “never become an international hub”.
The comments come in response to the preliminary report from the Independent Technical Commission, set up to assist the government explore the best options for a new airport location, which has argued that the Lisbon South bank site of Alcochete would be the best solution to locate Lisbon’s new airport.
However, Ryanair agrees with the company that manages Portugal’s airports, ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal that Montijo would be the best option since Portugal could never be considered a hub anyway.
Ryanair’s CCO (Pictured left) said that if the choice fell on another site, it would either “never get off the ground” or would become “a white elephant”. The Irish airline has also called for a competition to create a fresh competitor to ANA.
“The idea that the new airport would be an intercontinental hub is absolutely ridiculous. There are already European hubs in London, Paris, Madrid, and Frankfurt,” said Jason McGuinness in statements to ECO.
The Environmental Strategy Evaluation (AAE in Portuguese) requested by the government seeks a solution that would enable the new airport to evolve into an international hub by serving as a platform for long course intercontinental flights.
This same idea is supported in the preliminary report from the Independent Technical Commission that argues that Portugal’s geographical position favours the development of an intercontinental hub. (national carrier TAP and Azores carriers such as SATA have flights variously to the US, Canada, Brazil and the Portuguese-speaking African republics)
It also argues that such hubs cannot operate efficiently from smaller sites which have limited space for expansion, which is why the Technical Commission has ruled out Montijo as an option for the new airport because it doesn’t have space to grow.