At a time when the news coming from airlines has not been very kind to the Algarve, a welcome announcement has been made. A direct air link between the Algarve and Italy will be launched in June 2018, according to the regional tourism association (ATA).
The route will link Faro and Verona and will be the only direct air link between the Algarve and Italy.
Operated by Spanish low-cost airline Volotea, the route will offer one weekly flight between June and September and a total of 5,400 seats.
“Italy is a market that has registered interesting growth levels in the last few years,” said ATA boss Dora Coelho, adding that 2016 saw 108,000 overnight stays by Italian tourists in the region.
“This is why we consider this market to be strategically relevant to the region,” she added.
The increase in the number of Italians visiting the Algarve is only expected to become more significant with the new route, Dora Coelho said.
The Algarve actually used to boast a direct link to Italy in the 1990s, a time during which it received around 20,000 visitors per year from Italy.
However, the route was cancelled, so the announcement of this new link is an opportunity for the region to win back the Italian market, ATA says.
Volotea also commented on the news, saying its investment is justified because the Algarve is a destination of “great fascination and tourist appeal”.
Meantime, Portugal’s flagship airline TAP has announced that Aviareps is its new sales and general services representative in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
“Our dedication and commitment to our clients and partners in Benelux remain as strong as ever. By partnering with Aviareps, we guarantee that our business opportunities and customer service continue to prosper in the future,” said TAP’s vice-president of sales and distribution, Riccardo Lo Presti.
The Aviareps Group is a general sales agent founded in 1994 in Germany.
Photo: BRUNO FILIPE PIRES/OPEN MEDIA