What do you think about Ryanair? They don't fulfill their contract (cancelling flights in winter) but don't have to worry about legal action because Santiago depends on them in the future. It appears they get paid between four and six Euro a passenger. Which means that at least there's no direct financial loss for the city if Ryanair doesn't transport anyone.
if the article is correct, Ryanair haven't broken the contract - 'up to 6 routes into Santiago' and the payments only kick in if there are more than 40,000 incoming passengers on a route in a year.
That sort of deal is very typical for Ryanair: go for the smaller airports which are so keen to attract them they subsidise or even pay them to fly there. Even if incoming numbers are less than the Galicians had hoped, they still represent tourists/money that probably wouldn't have come without Ryanair. Ryanair's viewpoint is probably 'suck it and see': if the flights turn a profit, fine; if they don't attract enough passengers, like EMA, they're chopped.
Frank of Santiago wrote "What do you think about Ryanair? " We flew in from New Zealand to London and used Ryan Air to fly to Rome Ciampino, spent a couple of days there and used Ryan Air to fly to Santander to begin the Camino. From Santiago De Compostela we took Ryan Air to fly to Stansted. There were no delays except for a 15 minute interruption for the flight to Stansted.
Apart from the peanuts we paid for the flights we were impressed by the friendly multilingual cabin crew, clean aircraft as there was little litter, generous legroom, and no hassle boarding and disembarkation.
The slight delay in take off was caused by the Ryan Air ground staff holding up the aircraft to allow one late arrival, this is unusual for a budget airline but am sure the late pax must be very grateful. Most Low Cost Carriers would not wait for any late passengers in order to maintain their punctuality record. To end it all we arrived on time, as the aircraft pilot spent a little more fuel to catch up on the flight delayed takeoff.
My honest thought is that without Ryan Air we would not have been able, financially and time wise, to do the pilgrimage to the two places. I do not look a gift horse in the mouth; and these low cost carriers has changed the way how we travel, it should be fully supported.