Madeira a casualty in battle between Ryanair and ANA

“Excessive and unjustifiable” 17% fee increase by airport authority

ANA logo at Lisbon airport

With harsh criticism of ANA and what they describe as the “French monopoly” for the 17% increase in airport fees from January 2024, Ryanair’s commercial director has told JMnewspaper that the company will have to reduce the number of connections to Madeira.

In this sense, Madeira will, from the beginning of the year, be without connections from Nuremberg (Germany), Bergamo (Italy) and Marseille (France), with seven routes being maintained. It also loses one of the two aircraft at the Madeira base as reported here yesterday.

A decision that “is entirely caused” by the “excessive and unjustifiable” increase in fees by ANA, and which goes in the opposite direction to what has been happening at several airports in Europe, where a reduction in fees has been implemented. It also goes against the competitiveness principles of airports, he said.

Madeira a casualty in battle between Ryanair and ANA 1

regrets the situation, even more so with the investment made by Ryanair, in 2021, to have a base with two planes in Madeira, which now remains with just one aircraft. One of the two planes is moved to Morocco, whose Government is working to reduce airport fees.

In an interview with JM, after a meeting held this morning at Quinta Vigia with the President of the Regional Government, Miguel Albuquerque, McGuiness emphasized that the Irish company’s plans for Portugal and, for Madeira in particular, were for growth. Currently, there are around 15 million passengers in the country and the objective was to double it in the coming years. However, the significant increase in airport fees from January made this project unaffordable. In reality, connections with Madeira, Ponta Delgada (Azores) and Faro are cut.

Plans were for 5 planes based in Madeira

In the specific case of Madeira, the now complicated plans were to increase, in the coming years, to five planes in Madeira, he said. Recalling that Ryanair’s base at Madeira airport took place in April 2022 and 700,000 passengers linked to the Region were recorded, McGuiness revealed that the intention was to increase the number of passengers to 1.5 million and the number of routes from ten to 20. “That was the plan, but unfortunately, the airport operator has other ideas.”

Ryanair’s commercial director stressed that decisions about Portugal’s airports, as is the case with the “most important infrastructure for tourism in Madeira” are taken in Paris by Da Vinci, “which frankly doesn’t care about the Portuguese islands”.

In fact, in the meeting he held with Miguel Albuquerque, Jason McGuiness maintained that this monopoly and lack of sensitivity towards the Portuguese islands “must end”.

French have a lack of sensitivity towards the Portuguese islands

Madeira a casualty in battle between Ryanair and ANA 3
Jason McGuinness

In his view, Madeira airport, in this particular case, “must be controlled by the people and the Regional government. It’s crazy that decisions that affect Madeira’s daily lives and jobs are made in France.”

Faced with the fact that the Regional Government does not have autonomy in this matter, Jason McGuiness argued that “one of the three priorities of the next government of the Republic must be at this level”, with clear definitions of what is intended for tourism in Portugal. “There is no plan, why? Policies at this level cannot be made in an office in Paris.” Therefore, he urged that the Government “must take back control of the airports to the people”

The official highlighted, on the other hand, that he told Miguel Albuquerque this morning that Ryanair wants to work with the Regional Government to continue growing in the Region, despite these contingencies. In fact, he highlighted the government’s role in this process for maintaining at least one plane at the Madeiran base.

6 thoughts on “Madeira a casualty in battle between Ryanair and ANA”

    • Instead of the one line opinions, why not tell us why you have such opinions and what facts you can show us to justify those opinions. Start off with Ryanair, your experience of them, how many times you have flown with them, the particular events that coloured your thinking. Then you can tell us of your experiences in the Old Town amongst the criminals, the addicts, the scum you refer to in your last comment. Or you can give us all a rest and retreat to the midden of your imagination.

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