Confidence in the Algarve as an international destination received a shot in the arm at the end of March – and getting there got easier – after British Airways reinstated its direct service between Heathrow and Faro.
BA re-launched a twice weekly service – on Saturdays and Sundays – between the gateway to the Algarve and London’s primary airport on March 30th, after stopping it more than 10 years ago. At the same time, the airline has increased the frequency of its service between Gatwick and Faro, from once to twice a day, launched a service to Porto in northern Portugal from Heathrow, and will re-open its route between London city and Faro for July and August.
In other airline news, Portugal’s national carrier, TAP Portugal, has reported full-year net income of €34 million for 2013, which is more than double the airline’s €15.9 million profit reported for 2012. The results reflect a fifth consecutive year of profitability for the Lisbon-based airline, which carried 10.7 million passengers in 2013 – a 5.1 per cent increase on 2012’s 10.2 million passengers.
TAP’s positive results reflect the airline’s continued efforts to boost sales, particularly in international markets, and to improve efficiency by increasing productivity and reducing waste. TAP has strengthened its contribution to the national economy, as reflected in the field of exports and in the growth in tourism. In 2014 TAP is going to add six aircraft to its fleet, which will enable it to offer ten new destinations — Belem, Manaus, Bogota, Panama City, Nantes, Gothenburg, Belgrade, Hannover, Tallinn and St. Petersburg — and to improve others. This represents an eight per cent increase in supply and is the biggest ever increase in a single year.