and Ryanair end London route
Açoriano Oriental reports that the Chamber of Commerce of Angra do Heroísmo (CCAH) views with “great concern” the end of British Airways’ operation to Terceira Island and the end of Ryanair’s route to London, denouncing, on the one hand, the “disastrous promotional work” of the authorities responsible for tourism in the Azores and referring, on the other hand, that São Miguel “does not need more flights”.
“The island of São Miguel, and to the great satisfaction of all Azoreans, does not need more flights, much less that the island continues to concentrate air connections from the same market, making it difficult for tourists and residents to access other islands and the abroad, thus seriously undermining the tourist and consequently economic development of the Azores”, can be read in a statement from the CCAH.
The Chamber of Commerce of Angra do Heroísmo emphasizes and warns that the promotion of the Azores in the markets considered priority must be done with “equity, uniformly and potentially” considering the positioning of all the islands, bearing in mind that, within the liberalized market, “the airport on Terceira Island has already shown its ability to help the Azores in its tourism growth. It is now necessary for technical and political leaders to understand this reality (…)”.
For the structure led by Marcos Couto, the routes they worked on are an example of “success” and demonstrate that the ‘gateway’ on Terceira Island can contribute to the development of tourism in the Azores. However, the signs that come from abroad “are not those and are worrying, clearly evident in the constant political interference in the new winter schedules of SATA Air Açores”. “With the end of these routes, and with nothing planned to fill them, the businessmen of the Terceira, Graciosa and São Jorge Islands are very concerned about the next IATA summer and the defence of the numerous investments they have made in this area, looking forward to the economic development of the Central Azores group”, he stresses.
Noting that the two routes lost by Terceira were to Ponta Delgada airport and that the logistical support provided by the tourism authorities in the Region “was scarce or null” while such routes were on that island of the Central Group, the CCAH has no doubts: “ they do not want Terceira and the other islands to have the same opportunities for development”.
“The idea that, when external connections are provided to Terceira, we only benefit this Island, but when this happens to São Miguel, the Azores are benefiting, it has to be quickly abandoned and give way to a different mentality and union regional. Everyone benefits everyone. The false idea that tourists and airlines don’t want to fly to any island other than São Miguel has already fallen. Now there is a lack of regional unity”, he points out.
The CCAH says it is available, together with the competent authorities, to create solutions that minimize impacts in the next tourist season.
“Signs of change and decentralization were expected from this Government, which, worryingly and clearly, in this area, has not happened so far”, he concludes.