The Algarve PSD party has urged the regional authorities to “fight” to attract a Ryanair pilots training centre after the airline expressed it wanted to install the facilities in Portugal.
In a statement, the president of the Algarve’s PSD party, Cristóvão Norte, defended that the region “would be a suitable place to receive this investment, reinforcing the link with Ryanair in the region, since, to a large extent, it depends on a significant slice of passenger movements at Faro International Airport”.
The party leader pointed out that, in recent days, the municipalities of Porto, Matosinhos and Maia have expressed their willingness to see the ‘low cost’ airline’s training centre installed in the metropolitan area of Porto. As a result, he asked the regional authorities of the Algarve to try to attract this investment to Faro.
“In the [Algarve] region, we cannot count on TAP. All the airlines and their ground operations that we can bring to the region guarantee stability for these companies’ presence. Having a Ryanair training centre would be of the utmost importance,” said Cristóvão Norte, quoted in the statement.
The district president appealed to the Intermunicipal Community of the Algarve (AMAL) to work with “other regional entities” and “with AICEP [Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade of Portugal] and the company [Ryanair], to fight for a major investment that will bring jobs and sustainability to the airport and the Algarve region.
“Unfortunately, we see a lot of passivity and little initiative. We cannot squander strategic opportunities like this”, considered the social democrat.
The Algarve’s PSD’s position comes after the mayors of Porto, Matosinhos, and Vila Nova de Gaia, on December 22, said they were available to host the new Ryanair training centre in the Metropolitan Area of Porto (AMP).
Speaking to journalists, the three mayors showed their desire to welcome this “foreign investment”, and the mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, said he had met with the airline “a few months ago” and that it expressed “two requisites”: on the one hand, “having maintenance ‘hangars'” and, on the other hand, “having a training school”.
“In Porto, we don’t have the capacity for Ryanair’s needs. But we pointed out to Ryanair that there would be other municipalities, such as Matosinhos and Maia, that could”, said Rui Moreira, referring to the capacity of these two municipalities, or others in the AMP, to house the training school.
Although the municipalities are “available” to host the training centre, Rui Moreira recalled that attracting investment also depends on national institutions and that, in this matter, the competencies of the Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade of Portugal (AICEP) are respected.
“I am sure that if AICEP manages to create the conditions for this training school to come to the AMP, the AMP will not lack capacity and interest”, he added.
The position of the municipalities in the Porto metropolitan area was adopted after Ryanair’s executive chairman said that it is “increasingly likely” that the company’s new training centre will be installed in Portugal and not in Spain”.