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PS Wants New Air Routes to the Region

Socialist Party (PS) Deputy, Sérgio Gonçalves, wants to see the Regional Government take a more active role in identifying new air routes to and from the island after agreeing in principle a draft resolution by the PS titled ‘Programme to Capture Routes and Air Operations.’ During the presentation, Sérgio Gonçalves listed a set of defects in the current model and highlighting weaknesses including the need to create new route creation opportunities.

In response Miguel Brito, PS Deputy for Porto Santo, comment that the cessation of flights operated by Binter due to the pandemic is a cause for concern and commented that the draft PS Programme includes Porto Santo as well as strengthening existing outside connections.”

Ricardo Lume (PCP – Portuguese Communist Party) agreed that this problem does not stem from  Covid-19 alone as Madeira was already experiencing difficulties in attracting new airlines and business to the region.  He further reiterated that in order to attract more business Madeira must take action in a number of areas including a reduction in airport charges.

Portuguese Social Democrat (PSD) candidate, Carlos Rodrigues,  remarked that in “in theory, the proposal didn’t shock him as attracting new sources of tourism is an on-going commitment.  However, recent evidence suggests the island’s tourist industry is on the decline albeit after reaching record levels. Several reasons have given rise to this situation including airport operational problems through lack of investment in new equipment to enhance operational capabilities and the failure of several airlines.

Overall, most concluded that in order to attract more tourists, Madeira’s airport charging system needs to be addressed in conjunction with an upgrade in operational capabilities.

Samantha Gannon

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