Easyjet boost operations in Portugal

Low-cost airline Easyjet is reinforcing its operations in Portugal with the acquisition of a third aircraft to be based in Lisbon, representing investment of around €38 million, plus the hiring of 25 new employees and the launch of two new routes.

Portugal Car Hire - EasyJet increase operation in PortugalSix months into the launch of its base at Lisbon Airport Easyjet is increasing its operating to cater for demand.

Speaking to the press during a conference in Lisbon, Javier Gandara, Easyjet general manager for Portugal and Spain, said that initially the airline’s operations in this country involved 75 direct collaborators but, in light of the results obtained, it was decided to increase personnel with the hiring of a further 25 employees.
He added that the airline’s “performance at the base has been positive, with more than one million passengers transported during the first six months.”

Mr. Gandara said the airline expects to transport two million passengers by the end of this year.
At the end of March next year Easyjet will be introducing two new routes from Lisbon, to Bilbao and Valencia, with four and three weekly flights respectively.

The head of Iberia operations said that Easyjet is satisfied with its development at Lisbon Airport’s terminal 2, but that the airline still aims to “arrive and depart from the same terminal.”
“Our clients say they are satisfied with both departures from terminal 2 and arrivals at terminal 1. At the moment, in the short term, that won’t change, but long term our expectations are to focus on departing from and arriving to terminal 2”, he explained.
He also revealed that the airline is hoping to fly to the Azores soon and is awaiting the Azorean regional government’s liberalisation of the market, as happened with Madeira.

“After a new government has been formed in the Azores we will resume negotiations with the national and regional Governments to do something like what was done in Madeira”, Javier Gandara said, stressing that by changing the existing laws to increase the number of airlines that fly to and from the Azores would have benefits for both tourism and the Azoreans themselves.

“All you have to do is look at what happened with Madeiran airspace, in which the increase of competition resulted in fares being dropped by an average of 30 percent”, he added.
In Mr. Gandara’s opinion, increasing competition and opening the door to low-cost airlines such as Easyjet would have advantages for both consumers and the local economy.

Presently flights between mainland Portugal and the Azores are limited to two airlines, SATA and TAP, which carry out flights as part of their public service obligations.

Low cost flights to and from the Azores are being demanded by citizens, economic entrepreneurs and tourists.

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