Faro welcomes Ryanair expansion and new technology.jpg

Faro welcomes Ryanair expansion and new technology

By ELOISE WALTON [email protected]

More than 300 direct jobs will be created as a result of low cost airline Ryanair’s announcement that it plans to open its 39th base at Faro airport in March 2010.

Ryanair will offer more than 200 weekly flights to and from Faro in an investment of over 400 million dollars in the airport.

There will be 14 new routes from Faro to Billund, Birmingham, Derry, Eindhoven, Kerry, Knock, Madrid, Marseille, Maastricht, Milan (Bergamo), Oslo (Rygge), Paris (Beauvais) and Stockholm (Skavsta), which will increase Ryanair’s traffic at Faro to 1.3 million a year, which, the airline says, will sustain 1,300 local jobs in the Algarve.

Nuno Aires, president of the Algarve tourism board, said that Ryanair’s decision is a “positive response” to the region’s tourism and the need to diversify.

“With this launch, the Algarve is closer to the world and at an accessible price,” he said, adding that it will bring a new “dynamism to the destination,” reinforcing the link with countries such as Norway, Denmark, Sweden, France and Spain.

During a press conference on December 16, Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said: “With a total of 28 low fare routes from Faro next summer, Portuguese consumers and visitors can beat the recession by choosing Ryanair’s lowest fares and our no fuel surcharge guarantee on 28 exciting destinations all over Europe including France, Italy and Germany among others.” 

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Guilhermino Rodrigues, CEO of airport Management Company ANA Aeroportos, said: “This is a great day for our airport and our region as Europe’s largest airline opens a base in Faro. Today’s announcement shows Faro as an exception in the sector and will help create much needed jobs. It shows Ryanair shares our confidence in the tremendous opportunity for strong market growth at Faro.”

Meanwhile, an Intelligent Robotic Porter System (IRPS) was presented in Faro airport on December 17. This robotic prototype is able to autonomously transport people with reduced mobility in indoor areas where there is a great density of people.

This new technology is part of a project which uses an advanced laser and 3D based mapping and guidance system and is also able to be used for a variety of other purposes including the transport of dangerous materials, transport of loads in terminal buildings, for internal cleaning vehicles, among others.

Do you have a view on this story? Please email Editor Inês Lopes at [email protected]