Ryanair will shut down its Faro airport base from next year. According to several international media, both in Portugal and abroad (namely the Irish times), the air company communicated this measure internally on August 7th (Wednesday). Some Portuguese authorities, like the Tourism Board of Algarve, said that they were not officially informed about the news. According to the Irish Times, Reuters contacted Ryanair, which replied that “some Ryanair bases will be cut or closed this winter”. The spokesman pointed out the late delivery of new aeroplanes by Boeing as the primary motive. The company did not confirm the question about Faro, but also did not deny it.
The air crashes of Boeing planes created a big problem for the company and its clients. Last month, Ryanair had already revealed that growth would slow down, given the delays in new planes delivery. Air bases would be slashed during the 2019/20 winter, to accommodate the reduction of the number of available planes and the adjustment of the flight schedules for the 2020 Summer. The company also reported, later (in a report to company workers) that there are 500 pilots and 400 cabin crew beyond the need. Apparently, Faro is one of the bases chosen to costs saving.
Fewer flights to Algarve?
Axed jobs could be between 100 and 120, according to several different sources. Corporate representatives, like the Algarve hotels association, complained that this would be a blow for local businesses, as would inevitably result in fewer flights. The head of the Algarve Tourism Board, João Fernandes, also expressed some moderate fears regarding this.
The (still) seasonal character of the Algarve operation was probably an important factor regarding this shutdown. However, Faro airport will continue to be served by both Ryanair and other companies flights. Moreover, rival companies will likely see this as an opportunity to increase their offer to the international Algarvian airport. The market is waiting.