The Portimão-Bragança air link has seen ticket sales drop 6.5% since the closure of the Vila Real aerodrome in July. According to a SIC television report, it was the air link’s third most popular stop.
The Portuguese government renewed the air link’s concession contract in October for another four years, granting its operator – Sevenair SA – €10.4 million to help run it.
But SIC suggests that the “contract may be reviewed” if the Vila Real aerodrome does not reopen soon.
As it points out, the Vila Real aerodrome was closed in July over fears that the runway could “cave in” due to an underground stream that has been “eroding the sediments underneath the runway”.
The aerodrome was “closed indefinitely” and it is unclear when it will reopen as Vila Real Mayor Rui Santos said at the time that any kind of repair work would require “a substantial investment”. He added that many steps would be required to move forward with the works – from launching a tender to receiving the thumbs up from the Court of Auditors – and that he didn’t think it would be a “quick process”.
SIC reports that the Vila Real aerodrome was the third most popular destination, having welcomed over 1,000 passengers between January and July.
It remains to be seen whether the government will make any change to the concession contract should the aerodrome remain closed indefinitely.