Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) has reached an agreement with the Portuguese airport authority (Aeroportos de Portugal - ANA) to hold onto its base at Faro airport after employees agreed to new seasonal contracts.

In August, the LCC announced the likely closure of the base in 2020, which prompted panic among the region's tourism authorities to ensure the airport maintained the routes operated by the airline.

Ryanair currently links Faro with 30 airports in the UK, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, France, and Italy, as well as an 11x weekly connection with Portugal's Porto, according to the ch-aviation capacities module. A total of 83 routes are available from Faro, and in September 2019 Ryanair accounts for 211 of the total 724 weekly frequencies there (29.14%).

However, on September 18, the carrier said in a statement that its Faro base, which had been inaugurated in March 2010, would not close, but added that the number of B737-800s stationed there would be cut from three to two.

CEO Michael O’Leary explained in the statement that the decision to keep the base open was possible only because employees had agreed to new “seasonal contracts” to reflect the “seasonal nature of air traffic to and from the Algarve”.