During a recent meeting of the TAP Inquiry Commission, the President of ACIF, Jorge Veiga França, stated that although the inclusion of a third airline to operate the Lisbon – Madeira route was essential, he confirmed that the likelihood of low-cost airline Ryanair providing a third option has floundered, as the airline has withdrawn their interest. Although no reason was given, the president said that it would take a ‘massive turnaround’ for the airline to contemplate becoming an alternative operator.
The president also questioned whether it was time for the airport’s equipment to be updated as much of it could now be considered obsolete although the cost of this specialised technology precludes frequent replacement. He also wanted answers as to why it was taking ANAC so long to undertake their promised wind speed study at the island’s airport. Finally he declared that there was no price fixing (cartelisation) between TAP and EasyJet, although it was possible to see the effects the two airlines duopoly on the route could cause.
Concluding, he stated that the above and operational difficulties experienced at the airport due to bad weather could lead to future difficulties.