The Algarve has been one of the key beneficiaries of Portugal’s coveted “green list” status for holiday travel from the UK. Of all 12 destinations currently on the list (due to be reviewed on 7 June), Portugal is by far the most popular for summer holidays.
Spain, France, Italy and Greece are all in the second-tier “amber” category, which means Portugal – and especially the Algarve, as the country’s top sun and sea resort region for British tourists – has been able to start the pre-summer season with a decided edge.
At the same time, airlines servicing Faro international airport, the main gateway to southern Portugal, have been quick to capitalise on British holidaymakers’ enthusiasm for returning to the Algarve’s renowned beaches and pristine inland havens.
Here is a summary of the main summer flight services currently scheduled and forecast for Faro. For up-to-date information, check out our “Flights” section; and if you want to rent a car you will find all the best deals here.
British Airways has been updating its flight schedules to Faro throughout May, with services from seven UK airports due to be operating by the end of the month: Newcastle, Southampton, Edinburgh, Manchester, Gatwick, Heathrow and London City. “We’re pleased that our customers are able to start travelling again to some countries, including Portugal,” said British Airways chairman and CEO Sean Doyle, “and we’ve put on additional flights from London, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh to Faro to help people get moving.”
Since the UK government’s “traffic light system” announcement, EasyJet has placed more than 105,000 extra seats on sale to “green list” destinations – from Belfast, Bristol, Gatwick, LIverpool, London Luton and Manchester – and plans to re-launch its route from Newcastle to Faro with flights up to three times a week from 19 July.
The low-cost airline has also launched an online travel planning tool to help customers research their holiday options for summer, and is offering a new travel testing service with Collinson, to provide convenient access to a range of tests for international travel from the UK, including “a special price of £32” for in-destination testing before returning to Britain.
Jet2.com and Jet2holidays
Sister companies Jet2.com and Jet2holidays will be operating flights to Faro this summer from all 10 of their UK bases. These include additional services from Birmingham (weekly Saturday flights added from 3 to 17 July); Bristol (flying programme brought forward to 2 July instead of late-August); Glasgow (weekly Sunday services added from 27 June to 8 August); Edinburgh (weekly flights added every Tuesday from 29 June to 31 August); and Newcastle Airport (weekly service added Tuesdays from 29 June to 20 July).
“We know that there is extraordinary demand out there for holidays to the sunshine, which is no surprise given the past year or so,” said CEO Steve Heapy. “As things open up again, combined with positive vaccination and infection rates, one of the very first things people want to do is get away to relax in the sunshine. We are pleased to see governments re-opening travel so that holidaymakers can do this, and the response to Portugal going on the ‘green list’ from customers in England and Scotland has been exceptional.”
From June 3 to 6, Lufthansa plans to increase its flight services to major holiday destinations including the Algarve. Additional flights to Faro Airport will be taking off from both Munich and Frankfurt, “combined with attractive and flexible re-booking options”.
A new route from Teesside to Faro is scheduled to be launched by Ryanair from 16 June, operating twice a week as part of the airline’s UK summer schedule. Scottish holidaymakers will also be able to take advantage of daily flights from Edinburgh, and services three times a week from both Aberdeen and Glasgow Prestwick.
In addition, the airline offers flights from Stansted, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Bournemouth, Bristol, East Midlands and Liverpool.
In addition to 11 weekly services already on offer from other UK airports on Thursdays and Sundays throughout summer, TUI is now offering a weekly flight from Bristol, operating every Thursday until 28 October.
A flight to Faro last Thursday marked the first by Wizz Air from its Doncaster Sheffield Airport base since last October. The airline is offering COVID-19 travel insurance cover on all tickets, and “Wizz Flex”, which allows passengers to cancel their flight up to three hours before departure, with no cancellation fee.