Deals. News. Tips.
Delivered

The Azores – Air Freedom at Last

The Azores – Air Freedom at Last

by Tony Coelho

easyjetcom

Photo: Easyjet.com

On March 29, 2015, thousands of people made their way toward John Paul II Airport in Ponta Delgada, the capital city of Sâo Miguel, the biggest and most populous island in the Azores. More than anything, the scene looked like the filming of a Hollywood movie in which the populace was witnessing the advent of air transportation.

But in fact, the event was the arrival of an EasyJet Airbus flight from Lisbon.

Long cut off from the Portuguese mainland and the world by an airline duopoly run by the federal and local governments (who operated TAP and SATA airlines, respectively), the Azorean people—and tourists who wished to experience the Azores—had long had to make do with artificially high airline costs.

While a two-hour round-trip flight between the Azores and Lisbon routinely cost almost 400 euros, citizens of Madeira were flying the same distance to Lisbon for 100 euros. It’s no wonder that Madeira became a world-class tourist destination while the Azores languished as a relative unknown.

Turismo dos Acores (8)

Ponta Delgada – Sao Miguel Island

 

In 2013 the Secretary of Transportation for the Portuguese government Mr. Sergio Monteiro

But with one strike of a pen, Portugal’s secretary of transportation opened the Azorean air space to all and prices plunged to 120 euros or less in 2015. 

The Azores are now served by SATA, TAP, Ryanair and EasyJet. In the first month of opening up to other airlines, traffic increased 60 percent and prices went down 60 percent on average.

The airline deregulation was the first step in increasing the region’s visibility as an ecotourism hot spot. And in some respects the world’s long indifference has worked out very well indeed—in 2014 the Azores was voted the most sustainable vacation destination not just in Europe but in the entire world. That distinction and a host of other travel honors in the last few years has meant goodbye to Portugal’s best-kept secret.

Travel to the Azores

For more information on visiting Azores visit Azores.com. For those interested on touring three, four or five of these beautiful islands visit Portugal.com Azores travel and packages page.

 

Comments

Have something to say? Share it with us here.


2 comments

  • Pingback: Should YOU Vacation in Portugal? | Portugal.com says... June 8, 2016   Reply →
  • Pingback: The Best of the Azores | Portugal.com says... June 24, 2016   Reply →

Leave a comment

Travel Consultants

Is your time too precious to spend long hours searching for the perfect holiday in Portugal? Looking for expert help in organizing your trip? Hire a Portugal.com Travel consultant. 

Portugal travel guides and consultants |Portugal.com

 

 

Group and Event Travel

Portugal.com can find you the right itinerary for your group. From family reunions, religious faith tours, sports events, fun and leisure, meetings and team building. Let us know...

Group and event travel to Portugal. Contact a travel agent | Portugal.com

Contact us

Have a question? Can't find what you need on this site? Want to give us feedback on our content? Contact us.

Contact Portugal

 

Customer Reviews

Read testimonials voluntarily sent to us by Portugal.com satisfied customers, and  reviews from those customers ratings us through Trustpilot.com. 

Group and event travel to Portugal.