Not really a story to do with Madeira, but what is interesting is the fact that they will fly from Heathrow in the Summer. Could this mean flights to Madeira will still continue from Heathrow???
The operation starts in the summer of 2022, with 10 scheduled frequencies between Heathrow airport, in London, and Ponta Delgada airport, on the island of São Miguel, on Saturdays, between July 2nd and September 3rd.
British Airways, from the United Kingdom, will connect London to the islands of São Miguel and Terceira, in the summer of 2022, providing more than 3,000 seats, announced today the president of the Azores Tourism Association (ATA).
“This new operation provides 1,800 seats for Ponta Delgada and 1,440 seats for Terceira, with a total of 3,240 available seats and a potential of 22,680 overnight stays”, said the president of ATA, Carlos Morais, at a press conference in Ponta Delgada.
The British airline, which will use an A-320 Neo aircraft, with 180 seats, will also link Heathrow airport to Lajes airport, on Terceira Island, on Sundays, between July 10 and August 28, in a total of eight flights.
The operation, which results from a partnership between ATA, the Regional Government of the Azores, ANA, which manages the Ponta Delgada airport, and Aerogare Civil das Lajes, which manages the Terceira Island airport, will represent an investment of “400 thousand euros, approximately”, in tourist promotion of the Azores in the United Kingdom, according to the president of the ATA.
Carlos Morais pointed out that, in 2019, the United Kingdom “placed seventh in the ‘ranking’ of overnight stays in the international markets in the Azores, with a total of 93,494 overnight stays”.
“The UK market is one of the strategic markets for the Azores and in terms of tourist flows”, he pointed out.
In the case of Terceira Island, compared to the number of overnight stays recorded in 2019 (5,266), this operation has a growth potential for “almost double”.
The president of ATA warned of the need to carry out promotional actions in the English market, but said he hoped that “in the summer of 2023, it will be possible to announce an expansion of this operation”.
“The Azores destination has all the characteristics to effectively position itself in this market. But there are some challenges that you have to work on. It is not enough to have guaranteed air access, because the natural demand for the Azores is currently limited”, he said.
The regional secretary for Transport, Tourism and Energy of the Azores, Mário Mota Borges, admitted that the United Kingdom has not been one of the markets that lead in demand for the Azores, but considered that it could rise in this ‘ranking’ in the coming years.
“We have very high expectations regarding what the flows that can be captured and generated in the future are. The same expectation regarding what has been the position of demand on the part of the English market in relation to the Azores”, he said.
The vice president of the Regional Government of the Azores, which oversees the Aerogare Civil das Lajes, highlighted the “good understanding” between ATA and the managers of the two airports in question, claiming that this operation represents the “harmonious” development of all groups from the Azores.
“It will naturally be the first flight of many flights in favor of the development of the Azores and all our plots”, he stressed.