It seems Easyjet do not want to make it easy for residents of Madeira to just pay the subsidised rate of 86 euros for adults or 65 euros for students for a return trip to Lisbon, up to a cap of 400 euros for the round trip.
So this means residents will still have to pay the full amount for the trip and then claim the difference back, which can take months.
This is a translated copy from RTP Madeira on the subject, it does not translate very well, so even I have trouble understanding this situation.
The British airline easyJet said today that it “will do everything not to be pushed” from the Funchal airport in the autonomous region of Madeira, but refuses to “replace” the state with respect to the mobility allowance.
“We will do everything that is possible so that we will not be pushed off this route which, for us, is of great importance. We have a lot of work done in [the impact] for the residents, for all those who want to visit Madeira and for the economy of Madeira, “easyJet Portugal manager José Lopes told Lusa.
At a time when the mobility allowance was being changed, the official noted that “companies cannot replace the State in the financing of insularity”.
“This is a social role that falls to the State and is a relationship that has to be direct between the State and the taxpayer, in this case, resident in Madeira,” he added.
Currently there is a mobility allowance that establishes the value of air tickets between Madeira and the continent at 86 euros for residents and 65 euros for students.
However, as companies charge much higher prices, the Regional Government refunds the surplus to the passenger, up to a ceiling of 400 euros per trip.
However, easyJet has threatened to abandon the route if the mobility allowance is changed, according to the Regional Government, so that the passenger pays only 86 or 65 euros and the carrier receives the difference directly from the State.
The grant model also stipulates reimbursement at 60 days if the trip is paid by credit card, another of the criteria that have been criticised and which the region wants to see changed.
Believing that “residents should be protected from factors such as seasonality,” José Lopes said he hoped that “transparency in the process” would continue.
“It would be very bad for the people and the economy of Madeira” if easyJet left the region, he warned.
On Monday, the company was meeting with the Minister of Planning and Infrastructures, Pedro Marques, in a meeting dominated by the issue of the mobility allowance in Madeira.
“We have presented our position to the Minister and not only our concerns about these legislative proposals that are on the table but also our broader view of who has operated this route for 10 years, in which the difficulties they face are now too slow and too bureaucratic, “José Lopes told Lusa.
The official admitted, however, that this “is a process that is not simple, has a component associated with the State Budget and that will have to be analysed by the Government,” adding that he hoped for the best solution.