MIAMI – The Portuguese Ministry of Infrastructure and ANAC today prevented Ryanair (FR) from launching three new routes to Morocco, resulting in the cancellation of flights for over 3,000 Portuguese passengers scheduled to depart from Lisbon on Sunday, October 31.

Ryanair states in a company communication that the route block is a violation of the EU-Morocco Open Skies Agreement. FR has been flying between Portugal and Morocco for more than three years, and it’s unclear why the Ministry of Infrastructure / ANAC hasn’t obtained conventional flight authorizations to allow these flights to continue.

Due to the cancellation of these flights on Sunday, October 31, over 3,000 Portuguese customers will have their travel plans “unlawfully disrupted.” The Portuguese Ministry of Infrastructure left for their holiday break on Friday evening, refusing to issue the routine permissions.

The following flights have been canceled as a result of the Portuguese block:

Lisbon-AgadirFR3250 – Oct 31, Nov 1, 3, 5
FR3251 – Oct 31, Nov 1, 3, 5

FR3600 – Oct 31, Nov 4
FR3601 – Oct 31, Nov 4
Lisbon-MarrakechFR4390 – Nov 1, 4
FR4391 – Nov 1, 4
Flights from Port to Marrakech will operate as scheduled.
Ryanair EI-DPN Boeing 738 (Perspective). Photo: Julian Schöpfer/Airways

Comments from Ryanair

Jason McGuinness, FR’s Director of Commercial, said, “It is incredible that the Portuguese Department of Infrastructure would force the totally unnecessary cancellation of flights for over 3,000 Portuguese passengers from Sunday Oct 31st.

The Director added, “Ryanair already has traffic rights to fly from Portugal to Morocco, successfully operating flights between Portugal and Morocco for over 3 years and there is no good reason for this unlawful action, which is a clear breach of EU law, on the operation of the EU Open Skies agreement.

“It is simply outrageous that faceless bureaucrats at the Department of Infrastructure refused to remain at their offices on Friday to resolve this matter but instead departed for the holiday weekend while they wrecked the holiday plans for over 3,000 of their fellow citizens.”

Featured image: Pablo Gonzalez/Airways