New Bragança-Portimão air link

A new air link connecting Bragança in the north of Portugal to Portimão – and stopping off in Vila Real, Viseu and Tires (Lisbon) along the way – is on the drawing board and could be ready this year.
The idea, proposed by the National Civil Aviation Institute (INAC), is supported by the government but can’t go forwards without the say-so of the EC.
If implemented, the route would involve two daily flights from Monday to Friday – one in the morning and the other in the evening.
The government’s main concern, according to a report in online newspaper Dinheiro Vivo, is how to convince travellers to choose the route over buses or trains, as even with a €2.5 million government subsidy, the route would have to be seen to be economically viable.
As negotiations continue, the idea has been welcomed by mayors of the towns involved.
Portimão’s Isilda Gomes said: “We have always defended the implementation of a route connected to the Penina aerodrome and we have already expressed all our support to INAC’s proposal.”
Viseu mayor Almeida Henriques said the plan had perfect timing as the aerodrome has only recently been renewed, while the head of Vila Real council Rui Santos said the municipality had been pushing for an air route to Lisbon for some time, as its only connection to the capital is via highways that are tolled or “about to be tolled”.
Elsewhere, the mayor of Bragança is not quite so happy saying the plane stops in Tires – a full 30 kilometres away from Lisbon. If it stopped in the capital’s Portela airport, he said it would save travellers a lot of money.
As talks continue with all the aerodromes involved, developments are expected within the next few weeks.