Ryanair unveils new flights to trump TAP as Portugal’s main airline

Ryanair is again putting pressure on Portugal’s national airline TAP. The low-cost airline’s flamboyant boss Michael O’Leary says he has a short-term plan for “Ryanair to overcome TAP” as Portugal’s main airline.

The announcement came yesterday (September 21) in Lisbon where the Irish airline unveiled 13 new flights to be launched in Portugal next summer – eight in Faro and five in Lisbon.

The new flights will link Lisbon to Bologna, Glasgow, Luxembourg, Toulouse and Wroclaw (Poland), bringing the total number of Ryanair routes offered at the capital’s airport to 23.

Even more novelties are in store for Faro Airport, where the number of Ryanair air links will grow from 24 to 32, linking the Algarve to Aberdeen, Cardiff, Hamburg, London, Marseille, Newcastle, Newquay and Warsaw.

Hopes are that the new routes will help Ryanair fly three million passengers per year in Lisbon (a 13% increase in passenger numbers), and 2.4 million in the Algarve (a 19% increase).

According to Lusa news agency, the low-cost airline also plans to present new routes for Porto and the Madeira and Azores archipelagos.

“We think there would be a better opportunity on the Terceira island (Azores), but I wouldn’t be surprised if we started flying to Madeira in a year or two,” said O’Leary.

On the same day, Ryanair also announced an online promo offering flights for “just €14.99” until midnight on Monday, September 26.

Ryanair’s news follows the bid by TAP to break into the low-cost market by dropping short- and long-haul prices by an average of 34% (click here)