“At the moment, on our side, the issues are very well underway, but there are, in fact, still situations to resolve with ANA [Aeroportos de Portugal] Vinci. And these are the ones that are pending and an agreement is only closed when it is closed with the three parties”, Berta Cabral told journalists, in Ponta Delgada, at the end of a meeting with the ANA executive.
According to Jornal de Negócios, Ryanair and the Government of the Azores "have not yet reached an understanding for the maintenance of the airline's base in the archipelago".
The airline's CEO, Eddie Wilson, declared, on Wednesday, to the newspaper that he is maintaining negotiations, but as there has been "no development to encourage" the company to stay, the decision to leave Ponta Delgada "is imminent".
Today, the regional secretary for Tourism, Mobility and Infrastructure recalled that the agreement with Ryanair is between the company, the Autonomous Region of the Azores (through Visit Açores) and ANA Vinci.
“At the moment, on our side [Regional Government], the issues are very well underway, but, in fact, there are still situations to resolve with ANA Vinci. And it is these [issues] that are pending and an agreement is only closed when it is closed with the three parties ”, he clarified.
The three parties are negotiating and the minister hopes that an agreement between the entities involved will be reached “shortly”, without commenting on the details.
He underlined that "negotiations are on the right track, but any negotiation is only closed when the three parties reach an agreement".
“What we negotiated with Ryanair is on track”, he said, rejecting, despite the insistence of journalists, to go forward with details about the ongoing negotiations, underlining that “they are between the three parties”: “This is like in Europe . It's only resolved when everyone agrees. At this moment, there is no agreement between two parties”.
On behalf of the Regional Government of the Azores, Berta Cabral admits that there is a “favorable outcome” for the process.
“I hope that there is also a favorable outcome in the quick publication of the ordinance that has to do with setting the security fee, which, if you look at it, is the fundamental issue that is in the two articles that were published yesterday [Wednesday] in the press national," he added.
On the subject, the president of ANA, Thierry Ligonnière, told journalists that the company Ryanair tests routes and maintains only those that give it greater profitability and “often uses a more aggressive negotiation strategy”.
“Ryanair remains an important partner, with whom we like to work and we are quietly working to define ways to increase connectivity”, he said.
He stressed that ANA's fees are published on the company's website and Ponta Delgada's fees "are the lowest of all the airports in the ANA network in Portugal", but Ryanair is "right" regarding the security fee.
ANA has proposed a reduction from 3.54 euros to 1.80 euros per passenger, but to be applied depends "on an ordinance that has not yet been implemented" and not on the company.
Thierry Ligonnière said that ANA is working with the Government of the Republic so that the ordinance “is implemented quickly”, recognizing that it is “the main focus of the problem” with Ryanair throughout the country and, in particular, in the Azores.