Ryanair pressures TAP to free un-used slots

Ryanair has announced that it will appeal against a decision by the European Commission to allow TAP to relinquish just 18 take-off and landing slots at Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado International Airport.

The low-cost Irish airline will argue that the decision will result in the cancellation of 20 of its own routes in Lisbon this summer as a result of the “accumulation of slots not used by TAP”.

“We call on the Portuguese government to free up those slots not used by TAP up until February to preserve routes, traffic and jobs in Lisbon. With a reduced fleet and €3 billion in State aid, TAP cannot and will not use these slots this summer.”

Last week, the European Commission announced that TAP would relinquish 18 slots – 5% of the 300 slots the Portuguese airline has – in exchange for being allowed to get €3.2 billion in State aid. The EC is satisfied that the sale of the slots “will not prejudice the company’s viability or position at Lisbon airport”.

In the report from the Directorate-Geral of Competition, it also states that Portugal must commit to not “reacquiring the slots back”.

On the other hand, in the case of a stalemate regarding proposals delivered in the competition for the award of slots, the EC will attribute the 18 slots to whichever company TAP indicates and, given the often critical and at times spiteful outbursts of Ryanair chairman, Michael O’Leary, against TAP over the past two years, TAP may be unlikely to put forward the Irish airline despite EC demands for a “transparent selection criteria”.

The award of slots will only be finalised in November 2022.

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Source: https://www.essential-business.pt/2022/02/16/ryanair-pressures-tap-too-free-un-used-slots/