Albuquerque says state must resolve Madeira-Porto Santo airline situation

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The president of the Government of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque, reiterated today that the State must award the concession contract for the airline between the islands of the region or extend the existing contract with Binter.

“Either they award the concession and it still has to go to the Court of Auditors […], or they have to extend the concession because people can’t stay much longer without being able to book tickets from the 23rd [of August],” said Miguel Albuquerque.

Albuquerque says state must resolve Madeira-Porto Santo airline situation

The president of the Madeiran executive, of PSD / CDS-PP coalition, spoke on the sidelines of a visit to a company in the municipality of Santa Cruz, in which he accompanied, as leader of PSD / Madeira, the social-democratic president, Luís Montenegro, who is in the region as part of the “Sentir Portugal” initiative.

Questioned by journalists, Miguel Albuquerque explained that passengers cannot currently book flights after August 23 because the situation of the airline concession contract between Madeira and Porto Santo has not yet been resolved.

“Therefore, of the two, one: either this will continue as it is, which is harmful to the population of Porto Santo, or this situation has to be resolved”, he reinforced.

In June, Infrastructure Minister João Galamba assured that the airline between Madeira and Porto Santo will be awarded a three-year contract before the end of the contract extension with Spanish company Binter on August 23.

“The service will be fully ensured with an award and not with an extension,” João Galamba said on the occasion, speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the presentation of the new sustainable terminal at Porto Santo Airport.

On the same day, on the sidelines of the solemn session of the Day of the Municipality of Porto Santo, Miguel Albuquerque stated that he had “information” that the concession contract for the airline between the islands of the region to Binter would be extended again for six months.

The minister said that, due to the contestation of the tender, the government was “trying to get the operator, who had been excluded and who was given reason, to resubmit his proposal”.

“We have everything safeguarded so that, if there is any delay in the award, it will be done in time to guarantee the continuity [of the line]” he indicated at the time.

The concession contract with the Spanish company was initially concluded in 2017, for a period of three years and for a value of €5.5 million.

On February 12, 2019, a new concession contract was signed between the Portuguese State and Binter for the provision of scheduled air services on the Porto Santo-Funchal-Porto Santo route, for a period of three years, starting on April 24, 2019 and ending on April 23, 2022, representing an identical expense.

The contract was then extended several times, with the latest extension ending on August 23.

Binter operates on this route with an ATR-72 aircraft with a capacity of 70 passengers.

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