By Alex Glenn • 19 October 2021 • 8:28
Ryanair disruption as 700 winter flights cancelled. Ryanair has blamed “anti-competitive ‘slot blocking’”.
The Irish airline has confirmed that travellers heading to Lisbon this winter will see major disruption. The airline is cancelling 700 flights. The airline is also closing three routes completely for winter 2021/2022.
The closed routes are reportedly Tours, Oujda, and Bari.
Ryanair is experiencing difficulties at the Portuguese airport due to “anti-competitive ‘slot blocking’ preventing Ryanair from obtaining sufficient slots”. This has led to the company cancelling flights.
Seven aircraft will remain on the ground in Lisbon. The crew will still be there in the hopes that the airline can pick up services as soon as possible.
Ryanair’s Group CEO Michael O’Leary commented on the cancellations. He explained: “We deeply regret these unnecessary disruptions to passengers from these cancelled flights and routes caused by TAP’s blocking of slots which it is not using.
“This anti-competitive slot blocking obstructs the growth of airlines and the recovery of traffic, tourism and jobs at Lisbon Portela Airport, to the detriment of Portuguese consumers.
“Ryanair remains committed to working with our airport partner in Lisbon, to support Portugal’s tourism recovery and to rebuild connectivity after the COVID pandemic.
“We now call on the Portuguese Government and the European Commission to intervene to free up these unused slots at Lisbon Portela Airport and to urgently open Lisbon Montijo Airport.”
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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