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This is just a straight translation from the Diario. Have had a long and emotional day.

MP Luís Vilhena expressed his concern about the high prices of airline tickets for the Autonomous Region of Madeira during the hearing, at the request of the Socialist Party, of the Chairman of the Board of Directors of ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal in the Parliamentary Committee Of Economy, Innovation and Public Works. The request of the PS was made after the interview of Dr. Jorge Ponce de Leão to Jornal de Negócios, in which he spoke on a “cartelization” in the offer of flights to Madeira.

The chairman of ANA’s Board of Directors eventually acknowledged that the term used was “inappropriate”. However, Ponce de Leon admitted that, although there is no “cartelization”, the end result is the same.

The socialist deputy elected by the Madeira circle stressed the importance of air links between the continent and island regions for all the citizens who live there and also for tourism. Madeira being an important tourist destination, these links are of fundamental importance for the factor of competitiveness compared to other destinations.

Luís Vilhena recalled that the current system in force in Madeira was agreed between the Regional Government and the former Government of Pedro Passos Coelho. “Although it was set up a year and a half ago, many problems were noticed early on, not only by entities, but also by citizens,” he said.

The socialist parliamentarian criticized the high airport rates in Madeira, prompting the chairman of ANA’s Board of Directors to agree with Luís Vilhena, revealing that rates will drop when the conditions are right. Ponce de Leão explained that what was important was to approximate the rates of what markets are available to accept, that is, the rates of Madeira would have to fall, those of the Azores would be to maintain and those of Lisbon would rise.

In response to the MP of the PS, the head of ANA also revealed that the airport operator is studying a new system of incentives for airlines that want to base their aircraft at all airports of the ANA network, with the exception of Lisbon. This new model is in the public consultation phase and is expected to take effect in early 2018