Portuguese rail travel on track for upgrade and new charter airline takes off

Travelling by high speed train from northern Spain through Portugal as far as the Algarve could be a reality by 2017, according to a statement made at an Atlantic Axis cross-border conference in December.

Portugal has confirmed investment, including EU funding, worth €100million to upgrade a stretch of line in the north of the country which will open its rail network. The Atlantic Axis is an association that represents the 34 biggest cities in Northern Portugal and Galicia, Spain.

“The data we have from the Spanish government shows that at the beginning of 2015 the Galicia high-speed train track will be fully operational, said Xoán Mao, Secretary General of the Atlantic Axis. “On the Portuguese side, everything indicates that work on the Minho track will be complete by the end of 2016 and that tenders for the work are being launched at the beginning of the year.” Improvement in access to the Algarve will be welcomed by owners of property in Portugal.

Elsewhere in Portugal, a new charter airline called Windavia launched in December, choosing Beja Airport in the Alentejo as the place for its inaugural flight.

According to Windavia, it has more than 4,000 flights contracted with main tourist operators to fly from Lisbon, Madeira and Paris to other main sun and beach destinations in Europe, such as the Algarve, Madeira, the Canary Islands, the Greek Islands and northern Africa, starting from December this year until 31 December 2014.

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