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Stalemate Between Ryanair and Airport Fees

Ryanair has confirmed that it will remove an aircraft from its Madeira route in response to the extraordinary increase in airport charges next year.

This was conveyed this morning to Miguel Albuquerque, during a meeting held at Quinta Vigia, between the President of the Regional Government and the airline’s commercial director, Jason McGuiness.

The affected routes will be those from Nuremberg (Germany), Bergamo (Italy), and Marseille (France).

ANA Aeroportos de Portugal issued a statement where they have tried to clarify their position with regard to the increase in airport fees.

  • ANA regrets that Ryanair uses the update of airport charges as a justification for its decision to reduce flights.
  • At Madeira airport, the increase in fees corresponds to approximately 1 euro, at a time when Ryanair tickets increased by almost 16 euros (+21%), compared to the same period of the previous year (Summer 22).
  • Ryanair’s base in Madeira benefits from ANA’s incentive programme, with a significant investment.
  • Madeira is one of the tourist destinations with the greatest potential for development in Europe. In the summer 2023, Madeira airport grew by 10% compared to the same period of the previous year. Airlines such as easyJet, Wizzair, Azores Airlines, and Condor have contributed to this growth.
  • Several companies show a great interest in continuing to develop connectivity in Madeira. SATA (Boston and Toronto), EasyJet (Geneve and Basel), Jet2 (Liverpool and Belfast), and Wizzair (Rome) are some of the companies that have already confirmed new routes for next summer 2024.
  • ANA regrets that Ryanair uses, as a justification for the reduction of flights to Porto and Faro, the increase in airport charges.
  • The increase in fees proposed by ANA, for 2024, at these airports, follows 3 years of consecutive reductions. In fact, the average rates proposed for 2024 are lower than in 2019. At Porto airport -€0.13, and at Faro airport -€0.17.
  • This is at a time when, according to a recent statement from ACI (Airport International Council) Europe, the increase in fares charged by airlines in Europe was +38% in the summer months (3rd quarter).
  • It should also be added that Portuguese airports are at the top of the fastest growing in Europe, leading in terms of competitiveness.
  • ANA remains committed to the regions to further develop air connectivity by working in partnership and equitably with all airlines.
  • The proceeds of the charges are used, inter alia, to finance the safety, operational efficiency, and capacity, and comfort of airports, and interventions are ongoing at the various national airports.
  • The proposed fees for 2024 include an incentive mechanism for aircraft with lower carbon emissions, in line with ANA/VINCI Airports’ environmental policy and the promotion of the decarbonisation of the aviation sector.

Samantha Gannon

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