UK bans non-stops to Portugal; over 10 million seats in 2019

UK bans non-stops to Portugal; over 10 million seats in 2019

Ryanair launched Cornwall Airport Newquay to Faro at the end of March 2017.  This summer, it’ll return on a twice-weekly basis from 30 March.  Newquay will be one of 22 UK airports connected with Faro.

UK to Portugal seats passed 10 million in 2019, OAG data shows, making Portugal the seventh-largest European country from the UK.

The country-pair saw capacity rise by 3.6 million since 2011, recording a CAGR of 5%.  Pretty decent growth from an already large base.

Three carriers – Ryanair, Jet2, and easyJet – added almost all of this capacity.  However, both TAP (+516,000 additional seats) and British Airways (393,000) grew well for network carriers.

The partial UK ban with Portugal – imposed on 15 January and prohibiting non-stop flights – is less harmful than it might otherwise have been given it has occurred in the second-lowest month of the year.  And also when people aren’t meant to be travelling anyway.

Of course, the UK ban is just temporary. However, it highlights once again the need for travel – when it is safe of course – and how important the abolition of the ‘no travel unless essential’ rule will be.

UK bans non-stops to Portugal; over 10 million seats in 2019

The loss of Monarch in 2017 – and with it over one million seats – explains the decline in 2018.  Multiple carriers increased capacity in 2018, but the backfill wasn’t enough. Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

UK ban with Portugal; 51 routes expected this summer

51 routes are scheduled to operate between the UK and Portugal this coming summer involving 22 UK and six Portuguese airports.  Unlike in summer 2019, Aberdeen, Belfast City, and Exeter have been lost; they won’t be connected with Faro

The Algarve airport is by far the top this summer with 3.4 million two-way seats, followed by Lisbon with 1.9 million, Porto with 875,000, and Funchal with 325,000. Ponta Delgada  has just 31,000.   

This summer, Faro will be connected with 22 UK airports, Funchal 11, Porto eight, Lisbon seven, Porto Santo two, and Ponta Delgada one. TUI will connect Porto Santo once-weekly from Gatwick and Manchester.

New routes for the all-important season include Jet2 from Bristol to Faro and Funchal, Wizz Air from Cardiff and Doncaster to Faro, and BA CityFlyer from Southampton to Faro.

Read more: BA CityFlyer adds 11 routes from Southampton – strong performance likely.

Additionally, Jet2 will be a new carrier to Lisbon with service from both Birmingham and Manchester.  The routes start in September and will be twice-weekly. 

Jet2 will be the third-largest between the two countries, with almost 900,000 seats across 21 routes, behind easyJet (first) and Ryanair.  It’s only just marginally ahead of TAP.

UK bans non-stops to Portugal; over 10 million seats in 2019

Lisbon has become increasingly important for city breaks.  Between 2011 and 2019, seats more than doubled with 1.7 million added. Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.


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