The UK government’s relaxation of travel restrictions has encouraged major airlines operating at Faro Airport to boost their services.
Air Transat has now returned to the Algarve with a direct winter route from Toronto (Canada), Ryanair has included Faro in its “largest ever summer schedule from Dublin Airport”, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays have launched a sale for getaways to popular destinations including southern Portugal, and TUI UK announced a “Live Happy” sale for summer holidays.
EasyJet is also offering discounted flights and holidays for the February half-term, with the promotion running until tomorrow (Tuesday 1 February).
Under the new UK rules, from 4 am on 11 February all testing requirements will be removed for eligible fully vaccinated arrivals, with only a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) required. Arriving travellers who are not recognised as fully vaccinated will still need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before day two after they arrive in the UK. For inward travel, all under-18s – regardless of their individual vaccination status – will continue to be considered as fully vaccinated.
The EasyJet sale covers travel from 1 February until 30 September 2022, “providing customers with greater confidence to book a last-minute, low-fared family break”.
Announcing the sale, to coincide with “January pay day”, EasyJet chief commercial office Sophie Dekkers said, “We know that many people have missed their holidays over the last two years and have seen that UK consumers are thinking about more holidays than ever, so we’re really pleased to be able to offer hundreds of thousands of low fares from just £19.99, providing even more choice to book a holiday.”
Jet2.com and Jet2holidays
Half of the customers surveyed said they were more likely to book an overseas holiday as a direct result of the relaxation of travel restrictions, according to polling conducted by Jet2.com and Jet2holidays.
In response to the increased demand, the companies launched a sale giving customers “huge savings on all flights and holidays” for winter 2022, summer 2022, winter 2022/2023 and summer 2023. All bookings must be made by midnight on 7 February 2022 for the promotion to apply.
“January is traditionally a very important month for getting that much-needed holiday booked in,” said Jet2.com and Jet2holidays CEO Steve Heapy, “so this return in customer confidence comes at the right time. After so much uncertainty, the relaxation of travel restrictions has unleashed the pent-up demand from customers who just want to enjoy some time together with their loved ones, whether that is in the sunshine, on a city break or on the ski slopes. It is clear that the removal of unnecessary and unwelcome restrictions is exactly what customers wanted.”
Earlier this month, Air Transat resumed its Faro service, “after several months of forced suspension due to COVID-19”. The company’s flight from Toronto will be operated year-round and be offered once a week. Air Transat also offers a wide range of direct flights from Toronto to Lisbon and Porto this winter, and plans to link those two cities with Montreal in summer.
Joseph Adamo, Air Transat’s chief sales and marketing officer, said, “We are thrilled to resume our operations in Faro and in the process enhancing our service between Canada and Portugal. Now offered year-round, this route allows Canadian travellers to explore the magnificent region of the Algarve, an increasingly popular coastal destination that has so much to offer in the way of rich culture and majestic scenery, while also offering more travellers from Portugal the chance to discover the Great White North.”
Added Francisco Pita, chief commercial officer of ANA–Aeroportos de Portugal, “With this important launch by Air Transat, placing the Algarve in its route portfolio as a summer destination, new opportunities for the development of tourism in the region open up. It will be a valuable diversification of supply on the summer routes to Faro Airport and we are very optimistic about the success of this operation.”
The “Live Happy” promotion by TUI UK covers summer holidays departing between 1 May and 31 October 2022, and according to the company includes savings of up to £300 on package holidays, thousands of free children’s places, low deposits from £60 per person, and a £0 deposit on direct debit bookings made online, as well as savings for single parents and solo travellers.
“Many of our customers haven’t had a holiday for a while,” said TUI commercial and business development director Richard Sofer, “so they are booking more premium hotels, upgraded rooms or longer durations to make their long-awaited getaway extra special. This is why we’re offering discounts across our full range of holidays, affordable testing packages and the reassurance of our Customer Promise to help everyone have the break they deserve and can look forward to next summer.”
Announcing the summer schedule from Dublin Airport, Ryanair said more than 120 destinations and over 900 weekly flights would be available for Irish customers in a “record-breaking schedule which includes fantastic sun getaways to Spain, Portugal and Italy… as well as exciting destinations in the Greek islands, Croatia and regional France”.
Said Ryanair DAC’s CEO Eddie Wilson, “After two years of stop/start ineffective travel restrictions, the daa (previously known as the Dublin Airport Authority) has finally been given the tools to incentivise travel with its Traffic Recovery Support Scheme (TRSS)… This scheme gives Ryanair the confidence to invest in our largest ever summer schedule and largest number of based aircraft at Dublin Airport. The daa TRSS scheme will ensure airport charges are competitively priced vs. other EU countries this summer.”
World’s Safest Airlines
Meanwhile, seven airlines servicing Faro Airport have been ranked by AirlineRatings as among the safest in the world.
The ranking was launched in June 2013 to rate the safety, in-flight product and (more recently) COVID-19 compliance of 385 airlines using a seven-star rating system that has become an industry standard.
The factors used to decide the top 10 safest low-cost airlines include: incident records over the past two years, crash records over the past five years, results of audits conducted by the governing body of aviation (International Civil Aviation Organisation), EU banned lists and fleet age.
According to AirlineRatings, “Low-cost carriers (LCCs) have allowed millions of people to travel for the first time or to take trips they would otherwise be unable to afford.” The 2022 top 10 includes EasyJet, Ryanair and Wizz Air.
Overall, TAP Air Portugal was ranked as the safest airline in Europe for 2022 and fifth in the world, while Lufthansa/Swiss Group (14th), Finnair (15th) and British Airways (17th) also made it into the top-20. Ahead of TAP were, in order, Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.
AirlineRatings offers its own safety tool here for passengers who would like to compare the safety ratings of more than 385 airlines.
Click here for up-to-date information about flight schedules at Faro Airport.