On 15 June, easyJet officially opened its seasonal base at Faro airport, which is going to create 100 jobs and promote connections from Faro to the biggest cities in Europe with 21 routes across the continent.
This seasonal base will be active between March and October and has three A320 aircrafts, with routes connecting Faro to Amsterdam, Basel, Belfast, Berlin Brandenburg, Bordeaux, Bristol, Geneva, Glasgow, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London Luton, Lyon, Manchester, Milan MXP, Paris CDG and Paris Orly. In addition, there are also five new routes, which were announced on the opening day, to Luxembourg, Munich, Lille, Toulouse and Zurich.
The inauguration began with an easyJet airplane landing in Faro, followed by a speech session in the airport.
Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of Vinci Airports, was the first speaker and began with a green announcement: “We are also launching the first solar plant in Faro airport which will cover 30 percent of the airport’s energy needs”.
Faro is going to be the first Portuguese airport with a solar plant. “We are happy because we are here with easyJet for the recovery of tourism with an environmental commitment”, said the Vinci Airports CEO.
Over the past 22 years, easyJet has contributed to the region’s economy and its international tourism promotion. Through the opening of the new base, the airline also increases employability of the region, creating around 100 direct jobs under Portuguese contracts.
Pedro Nuno Santos, minister for infrastructure and housing in Portugal, highlighted: “It is very important during this difficult time in the world, namely in the aviation sector, that we have a new base opening in Faro. We’re sure that’s going to be a very successful operation”.
At the end of the session, the minister told journalists, regarding the United Kingdom, the main tourist market for the Algarve, that: “on the day that the British government allows the British to start travelling without restrictions, we know that they will return to the Algarve”.
In an interview with The Portugal News at Faro airport, José Lopes, easyJet Country manager Portugal, said that the fact that Portugal is now on the UK’s Amber List did not change any plans for the Faro seasonal base, but it had played a role when it came to defining new routes, in which the United Kingdom was left out.
“These five new routes are all non-British and that has to do with this situation, in which the UK took us off the green list and also postponed once again its easing of lockdown, which makes us look to other markets”, said José Lopes.
easyJet Country manager Portugal also mentioned that, two weeks ago, easyJet have implemented a policy that allows their passengers to change the date or the destination of their flight without any penalty, until two hours before the flight.
“The passenger only must pay if there is a difference in fare to a new destination, for example. In this case, he pays the additional cost. With this measure, what we are aiming for is for people to feel confident to fly again even with these changes that the governments continue to implement at the last minute to all of us. People must be confident that they can book their flight and, if something happens, they can change without losing their money”, he told The Portugal News.
In addition, easyJet also has a page on their website to allow their custumers to find out all the needed travel requirements for the destination country.
Asked if easyJet has plans to increase the number of airplanes, which at the moment are only three, José Lopes said: “When things return to normal the goal is to continue to grow Portugal, because we believe that Portugal is a destination for the present and for the future, and easyJet wants to continue painting the country orange”.