easyJet bets big on Porto’s economic emergence as it reinforces its position at Porto Airport, adding new planes and routes to its roster.
easyJet celebrated transporting 14 million passengers to Porto Airport by announcing two more planes, three new routes and the recovery of another two. It reinforces the airline’s long-term commitment to Porto, which it has served since 2007, and signals its belief in Porto’s continuing emergence as an increasingly attractive tourism hub.
Boosting its fleet
By adding a further two aircraft to Porto, easyJet is increasing its fleet to six. The airline has a total of fifteen aircraft in Portugal, with five in Lisbon and four in Faro.
New connections from Porto Airport will include Porto Santo and Cologne—each with two flights per week—and Madrid which will see five flights departing weekly. They are also reactivating their routes to Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca.
In addition, they are adding to supply on existing routes, bringing their total capacity to 350,000 in a move which they say will create around 70 new jobs.
The move consolidates easyJet’s position as the second largest operator from Porto, where it has had a base since 2015 and has connections to 23 european airports in eight countries.
It is the second largest budget airline operating in Portugal and the third largest overall.
Betting on Porto
easyJet’s plans reflect their belief in Portugal, and Porto in particular. In 2019, they carried more than seven million passengers to and from Portugal. That number inevitably took a hit during the pandemic but, as travel restrictions are lifted, the scene is set for rapid growth.
Over the past decade, Porto has become the rising star of Portugal’s tourism sector and is one of the 100 top most-visited cities in the world.
A rich history, together with a vibrant cosmopolitan culture, great food and warm climate makes Porto a unique and attractive holiday destination.
It typically welcomes more than three million tourists a year. Much of that is down to Porto Airport, which has established itself as a world-class hub, connecting Porto to places all over Europe.
Porto’s tourism sector has been at the centre of the city’s major economic revival, and tourist acitivity has exceeded pre-pandemic numbers. According to Statistics Portugal, there were 2.4 million guests and 6.0 million overnight stays in Portugal in April 2022; this was an increase of 1.6 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively when compared to April 2019.
Property prices have also been on the up, encouraged in part by Portugal’s Golden Visa Program which promises a fast-track route to citizenship for those who buy property beyond a qualifying level. Despite the visa scheme being scaled back, rising demand from both local and international visitors, coupled with ongoing supply shortages, have kept prices on a steady upward trajectory.
Porto, then, has weathered the storm of the pandemic better than most, and with European cities benefitting from the first fully active holiday season since COVID-19 struck, carriers such as easyJet are taking full advantage.