Ryanair to abandon the Azores?

Airline accused of blackmail

Ryanair to abandon the Azores? 1

The news revealed yesterday by Diário dos Azores about Ryanair’s intention to abandon its operation in Ponta Delgada and Terceira had a profound impact on the tourism sector and on local businessmen.

The President of the Ponta Delgada Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mário Fortuna, also expressed his concern to Diário dos Açores, explaining that “Ryanair is a private company that tries to make its operations profitable. If you have a high demand for your services, and you do, you will tend to optimize your fleet and other resources by allocating them to the most competitive routes. If we lose competitiveness, because we haven’t done enough work to promote our destination, we lose out. Is this going to happen. It is very important that we change our ways in this aspect because we spend too much time immersed in doubts and too little time doing the promotion work that needs to be done”.

For Mário Fortuna, “we have to admit, in this sense, that investment in advertising on Ryanair platforms tends to be the most profitable because it reaches many millions of potential customers. In this sense, this company has a capacity far superior to the others operating in the Azores. For every euro invested in Ryaniar platforms we get a much higher return. Indirectly, we are investing in national flag companies at an astronomical cost for national and regional taxpayers in the Azores. We must never lose efficient partners”.

As to whether the Region should give more money to Ryanair to maintain its bases in the archipelago, the business leader replies: “It’s not about giving more money but investing in our reputation through Ryanair. It is necessary to underline this aspect which is central, we are not paying to be here but investing in promotion campaigns through its services. With them, the message we have to transmit goes further”.

Azores tourism under threat

Ryanair to abandon the Azores? 3

Without Ryanair and with the sale of SATA Internacional to a private company, is Azores tourism in question? Of this, we are absolutely certain. It will be a setback in the development of tourism in the Azores”.

As for the possibility of extending the Ryanair operation to other islands, in an eventual agreement for new contracts, Mário Fortuna understands that “extending the operation to other islands will always be a question of the profitability that the company needs to keep up with the competitiveness of other markets and our willingness to invest. In any case, the company will only be able to operate in liberalized airports, which means that the universe is restricted to S. Miguel and Terceira. The other potential airports – Pico, Faial and Stª Maria are excluded as they require public service obligations”.

Ryanair accused of blackmail

The Portugal News reports that the BE/Azores (left-bloc) party has accused Ryanair of “blackmail” in relation to the airline “requiring subsidies” to operate the route to the archipelago and will ask the Regional Government to reveal all contracts between entities financed with public funds.

António Lima, the BE deputy in the Azorean parliament, referred to the news at a press conference,, which he said had been “confirmed by the regional secretary for Tourism, Mobility and Infrastructure, that Ryanair threatened to leave the Azores and that, therefore, negotiations are taking place with the government with a view to maintaining the routes operated by the airline”.

“Blackmail is part of Ryanair’s way of acting, either to try to prevent legitimate strikes for better working conditions or to extort subsidies from taxpayers in the regions and cities where it operates. Ryanair’s threat to stop flying to the Azores constitutes one more example of the predatory way in which this company operates”.
BE deputy in the Azorean parliament, António Lima

António Lima criticised Ryanair’s way of acting, accusing the company of attempting to “extort subsidies from taxpayers in the regions and cities where it operates” and adding that the company “does not hesitate to demand subsidies” when no other airline that operates liberalised routes with the mainland have them”.

“The Regional Government has to disclose all existing contracts between entities financed with public funds and Ryanair, namely VisitAzores, and Chambers of Commerce. We will request these documents from the Regional Government”
António Lima

Thanks to PeterA for the link

8 thoughts on “Ryanair to abandon the Azores?”

  1. Ryan Air, just like Easyjet and Jet2 are commercial organisations dedicated to making a profit. They are not charities. Only it the airline shows a profit will it fly there. If the Azores wants to retain Ryan Air it is up to them to ensure people wish to visit the islands by investing and building more hotels and infra structure, doing what Madeira has succesfully done. Until then it seems they will have to accept Ryan Airs demands. Of course this means mass tourism which many will despair of. There’s no easy way out, it’s a commercial world. As to the idiot speaking of Ryan Air and blackmail, just another politician speaking without thinking. You want visitors, you need Ryan Air. You need mass tourism. There are not enough people willing to fork out for scheduled flights.

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    • Mick, do stop to think occasionally. Ryan Air fly to Madeira because they make a profit, when they stop making a profit they will stop flying to Madeira. Now, try and imagine all those empty hotel rooms, the restaurants, bars forced to close. The unemployment, the exodus of Madeirans to find work, which it seems by your constant knocking of Madeira you are trying to advance.
      By the way you still haven’t told us why you choose to stay in a place you have never complimented.

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  2. George, My favourite troll how are you fella? Madeira has never been short of tourists? And businesses have never been shorter? All the rest is just pure greed son? The mandarins have already outpriced themselves, and soon it will be too expensive for your average tourists that’s when Ryanair pulls the plug I would imagine.

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    • The Mick. When ever I feel the need for an intellectual, reasoned argument along you come and spoil it all. I just can’t understand your comment, five sentences, four question marks, congratulations on finding the question mark key. Ironic considering you’ve never answered my questions. Force yourself, is there anything about Madeira you like?

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  3. Perhaps with state airlines receiving billions in government aid to run a poor service perhaps the private run airlines quite understandably will ask for a balance of equal business opportunities

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