Ryanair announces 14 new routes and demands an immediate advance on Montijo airport
Hot headed Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said this week that the Portuguese government needed to pull its finger out and get on with building the new Lisbon airport at Montijo.
Announcing 14 new routes this summer, the colourful airline boss called on the government to “open the new airport immediately” (it hasn’t actually been decided on, let alone built) because it would put a stop to the high airport taxes that ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal (part of France’s Vinci Group) was charging in Lisbon.
“We are delighted to announce the biggest programme for the summer of 2024 in Portugal, where we have continued to grow and have opened 14 new routes. But unfortunately, the high taxes from the monopoly ANA are forcing companies like Ryanair to cut regional flights from and to Portugal”, he said at a press conference.
O’Leary said that Portugal didn’t need more studies and believed that Montijo had the capacity to meet the necessities of the sector.
Moreover, he said that Montijo airport would increase competition on Lisbon airport and have implications on the airport taxes charged by ANA.
“Alcochete is not the solution”, he said, and expressed the hope that the new government that resulted from the elections of March 10 would sort out the problem
Michael O’Leary also considered it “unacceptable” that the regulator ANAC – National Civil Aviation Authority had agreed to ANA’s tax hike of up to 17% and above inflation.
Ryanair’s new routes this summer are: Alicante, Stockholm, Belfast, Budapest, Krakow, Norwich, Marrakesh, Rome, Ibiza, Madrid, Pisa, Poznan and Tangier.