Ryanair president Michael O’Leary has launched a characteristic salvo of criticism today at Portugal’s ‘masterplan’ for supporting flagship airline TAP – to the tune of €1.2 billion – through the rigors of the pandemic.
The money isn’t an investment, he told a press conference. It is taxpayers money “being thrown down the toilet”.
Ryanair has been contesting the fairness of countries choosing which airlines they will help through Covid-19 (click here). The process has led to all kinds of ‘ugliness’ between the company and infrastructures minister Pedro Nuno Santos, which Ryanair has dubbed ‘Pinocchio’ due to his alleged capacity for not telling the truth.
Ryanair still has a case going through the Tribunal of Justice of the European Union, maintaining that State support of TAP is actually illegal.
It won the first round of this battle (click here), but the EU-backed financial support has continued nonetheless (click here) with Pedro Nuno Santos claiming the government is legally entitled to ‘invest’ in the airline that has been losing millions of euros since almost as long as most people can remember.