Aviation expert says it’s easier to travel from Madeira to Malaga than to Faro

This has always bugged me as to why we don’t have a direct flight to Faro….

A possible Funchal – Faro route could be a business opportunity for an airline, but to date no one has taken it, given that for Madeirans it is easier to go to Malaga than to reach the capital of the Algarve. This is what concludes the aviation specialist, Pedro Castro, who analyzed that market, starting with the connection between Porto and Faro through Ryanair, which will have more flights.

“In less than an hour by plane, you save about 5 hours by car, tolls and petrol or 7 hours by train. With many tickets on sale for less than 20 euros, Porto and Faro is just a weekend away or a trip to and from work on the same day”, he says. “During the 1990s and the beginning of the century, TAP and Portugália limited themselves to a few seasonal summer flights on Fridays.

On 26 October 2009, Ryanair inaugurated this connection, initially with just a few weekly flights throughout the year. With the entry into force of the new summer schedule on March 26, flights between the two cities will reach three per day, triple the existing flights until March 25″.

Thus, SkyExpert, “a consulting company specializing in air transport, airports and tourism, analyzed the statistical data for 2019, the pre-pandemic year, for this route. Porto, with 153 thousand passengers transported to and from Faro and with an occupancy rate of 91%, it was the 4th Ryanair destination with the most passengers departing from Faro. For Porto airport, Faro was, in 2019, the 8th Ryanair destination with the highest volume of passengers”. In this way, with “the increase in frequency in effect from Sunday, Ryanair will have close to 600 seats available on this route every day and 2023 could, therefore, set a new historical record”.

“Compared to Spain, transverse domestic air mobility in mainland Portugal (that is, excluding the Lisbon-Porto and Lisbon-Faro routes), has suffered a lot over the last decades and, contrary to Spain, such a scenario is not associated with an improvement of the railroad”, explains Pedro Castro, director of SkyExpert. “While it is true that in Spain there has been a significant reduction in air connections on axes operated by high-speed trains, such as Madrid-Seville or Madrid-Barcelona, ​​what has happened is an increase in variety and frequency in cross connections”, he continues.

In this regard, SkyExpert warns of the atypical situation in Portugal: “To block competition slots at Lisbon airport, the Government obliges TAP, a public air transport company, to compete in price, product and frequency with the public transport company railway on the Lisbon-Porto and Lisbon-Faro routes in an act of irresponsible cannibalism of public funds. other way.”

Still “in this line of lack of air accessibility and territorial continuity”, Pedro Castro, recalls that “there are no direct flights between the Algarve and any of the Islands” and that “this summer it will be easier for Madeirans to fly from Funchal to Malaga in the direct Iberia flights than traveling to Faro, for example”.

From Diário Notícias