The airline Ryanair has decided to suspend 19 routes to Lisbon this summer, including two to France and two to Morocco. At the origin of this decision, the refusal of the Portuguese government to distribute the flight slots “blocked” by TAP Air Portugal.
The Irish low cost suspends its flights to Agadir and Oujda in Morocco (Fez and Marrakech are not affected) from Lisbon-Humberto Delgado airport. Out of 7 Boeing single-aisle aircraft, the company’s base in Lisbon will only accommodate 4. Ryanair has also decided to suspend the planned routes to Perpignan and Poitiers in France on a total of 6 routes (Poitiers had been announced at the beginning of January), to five destinations in Spain (Alicante, Lanzarote, Madrid, Zaragoza and Tenerife South), three in Italy (Alghero, Bari and Palermo), two in Great Britain (Birmingham and Bournemouth), two in Germany (Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden and Memmingen), as well as the airports of Billund, Krakow and Malta.
Ryanair assures that all passengers affected by these cancellations will receive email notifications “by the end of this week, with the possibility of refunds or alternative flights to/from Lisbon for summer 2022”. Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair Holdings said “we regret this unnecessary inconvenience to all passengers on these canceled flights, and the loss of 19 routes due to the blocking of unused slots by TAP in the summer of 2002, in Lisbon. This anti-competitive blocking of slots hinders growth and delays the recovery of traffic, tourism and employment in Lisbon”. “Our last efforts to ask Prime Minister António Costa for help resulted in a total of 0 responses,” he added.
The company does not intend to give up. She says she is “determined” so that the 3 planes and the 19 routes “will return to Lisbon in October 2022”, because she has “enough slots in winter” for these flights.