Minister boards first flight of Portimão-Bragança air link

Flights linking Portimão to Bragança in the north of Portugal – and stopping off in Cascais, Viseu and Vila Real – finally started on Tuesday (December 22) with an inaugural trip boarded by Pedro Marques, Portugal’s Minister of Planning and Infrastructures, and all the mayors from the various boroughs involved.

The first commercial flight took off the next day.

“We’re happy to reopen this air link after it was incomprehensibly interrupted for reasons that have proven to make no sense,” said the minister, referring to the suspension of the air link in 2012 when the European Union decided it was no longer economically viable due to improved road conditions.

Marques pointed out that “€2.5 million per year” – the sum needed to keep the air link running – is not too high a cost for “such an important link for the country’s interior.

“The three-year interruption was very negative,” he explained, stressing the air link is “critical” to the “creation of jobs” in Portugal’s inland areas.

Two-way tickets are available for €146, although prices are lower for shorter hops (see bookings.aerovip.pt).

Aerovip runs one flight per day during the winter and two during the summer, except on Sundays.

By MICHAEL BRUXO michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com