"I will do everything I can to ensure that Ryanair is also established here, another innovation centre in Lisbon, I think this is important, so we will try to be in this race", Carlos Moedas told journalists.

The mayor stressed that competition for the location of the new centre is "between cities across Europe".

In early September, the chief executive of the Irish airline, Michael O'Leary, told a meeting with journalists in Dublin, Ireland, that Ryanair wants to open a new training centre for pilots and cabin crew in the Iberian Peninsula and admitted that Porto is one of the hypotheses under consideration.

However, today, the executive president of the aviation company, Eddie Wilson, advanced that the decision should be taken within the next three months and that Madrid has also presented itself as an option with better connections.

The official also said that the company is analysing the possibility of opening facilities in Lisbon for the information technology team, which it intends to reinforce.

Unicorn factory

Carlos Moedas also took the opportunity to announce that the Lisbon Chamber and Ryanair will be partners in the development of the Unicorn Factory, which is to be announced next week at the Web Summit.

"We are going to announce the Fábrica de Unicórnios, which is my big innovation project, so that Lisbon is the innovation capital of Europe and, today, I had the good news that Ryanair will also participate in this project", said the mayor.

Carlos Moedas said that agreements will be established "with several companies", from "different areas".

Contribution to Portugal

At the ceremony, Ryanair presented a PwC report on the company's contribution to the Portuguese economy over the last 20 years.

According to the study, the Irish airline and the passengers it carries contribute more than €2,000 million a year to the Portuguese economy and 80,000 jobs annually.

Compared to the period before the pandemic, Ryanair recorded a growth of 13% in the summer in Portugal.

The Secretary of State for Tourism, Commerce and Services, Rita Marques, present at the anniversary ceremony, highlighted the airline's "great contribution" to the resumption of tourism, after the pandemic.

"Fortunately, we have several airlines growing at this pace and with this size, naturally Ryanair is an excellent example for having made a very relevant contribution during these 20 years, I hope it continues like this, but we have other airlines with whom we have worked, we have 65 airlines, we serve more than 160 cities on our routes, which we have been boosting and which, at the moment, are already at a level very similar to 2019", the minister told journalists.