Ryanair chief executive Eddie Wilson says his group wants a long-term deal to bring 60% more passengers here a year than it did this year.
Can the Ryanair to announce, noisily as usual, her departure from Hellas until next summer, but the chief executive of the low-cost airline, Eddie Wilsonis in Athens and is seeking some kind of agreement, either with the government either with the airportsin order to ensure low air fare charges, at least for the winter season.
Ten days ago, Ryanair announced that it would close its base in Athens at the end of October and take the two planes parked here, citing high fees per passenger. Charges provided for by the concession contract of the airport operators with the Greek State and apply to all companies without exception horizontally.
A week later, yesterday Monday, Mr. Wilson landed in Athens and met with the Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilia, while yesterday he also visited Chania, from which, it is recalled, Ryanair also chose to limit its activity shortly before the pandemic . Asked by “K” whether he believes that the aggressive negotiation tactics, which he is credited with applying both in Greece and in other countries, can have an effect, he defended his right to claim “what is best for his company”. He added, however, that he is not asking for special treatment, but a reduction in fees “for all airlines, at least during the winter months.” Noting that Lufthansa and other airlines are increasing available air seats to Greece this winter, he argued that his own group wants a long-term deal to bring here 60% more passengers a year than it has brought this year. In particular he talked about potentially 10 million passengers per year, compared to 6 million which is his performance now.
However, regardless of whether or not it will increase its flight work to Greece, it states that it is particularly optimistic about the country as a destination and confirmed that it will continue to connect Greek destinations with more than 90 airports internationally. He also underlined that in 2023 he will receive 50 new aircraft and is looking for promising markets in order to take advantage of them, with Greece admitting that it is one of them. “We can help lengthen the tourist season for Greece and we consider our proposal to be a great opportunity”, reported to “K”, without, however, showing any willingness to change its approach on the matter of the lower fees it claims. And he even identified his company as a potential strategic partner of the country in its effort to spread tourism activity to more months and destinations. Responding to related question from “K” he also denied the stereotype that travelers who use his company are by definition of low added value in terms of the money they leave in the country, contradicting, among others, the example of Malaga. Málaga, as he characteristically mentioned, is developing into a destination for digital nomads as well as companies that choose it as their headquarters for its climate and the air connections that Ryanair has secured following a relevant agreement with the airport. At the same time, he insisted that he does not consider competition in Greece as the reason for the pressure he exerts for lower fees. He also noted that Ryanair is growing at a rate of 20% per year, has one of the largest fleets in the world, and this year has not only recovered the passenger traffic of 2019, but also increased it by 15%.
Its sources Ministry of Tourism who were asked about the case of Ryanair confirm to “K” that “he was presented with the incentive program provided through the EOT winter co-advertising campaign”, but also “it was made clear to him beyond any doubt that there is no way that what he is asking for will be accepted” .