Airport renamed. European airlines. Quinta das Cruzes. Calheta warning.

Ronaldo has airport named in his honour

imageThe Journal reports on Cristiano Ronaldo visiting yesterday to inaugurate his first joint-venture with Pestana – the boutique hotel in Praça do Mar. Miguel Albuquerque, president of the Regional Government (pictured with Ronaldo yesterday), took the opportunity to announce that the island’s Santa Catarina Airport will be renamed the Cristiano Ronaldo Airport. The 55 year old politician said that decision was an acknowledgement to the services and high profile the Real Madrid player has brought to the region. The move to name the airport was formalized during a council meeting on Thursday.

European airlines fly into trouble

Following up on a story on the repercussions of Brexit a couple of posts ago, the Wall Street Journal reported this week that European airlines were “flying into trouble” after “terrorism, air-traffic-control strikes and Brexit have caused a sequence of shocks, cutting earnings expectations”.

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The Journal reports that for the region’s carriers, 2016 was supposed to be a breeze. Low oil prices were poised to help deliver record profits. Fuel hedges that last year damped the benefit from lower fuel costs had reached more favourable levels. However Carolyn McCall, chief executive of easyJet, said on Thursday that the environment for airlines hasn’t been this bad in a decade. “You have more terrorist events this year than in any year that anyone can remember,” she said. “The attacks have dented consumer confidence, as have air-traffic-control strikes that have cancelled thousands of flights across Europe and the sharp fall in sterling”

Museu Quinta das Cruzes

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The Quinta das Cruzes Museum will be closed to the public from 23 July to 1 August. The mansion, which dates back to the origins of colonisation, is sat on a prime hectare of landscaped land in central Funchal and displays a highly regarded collection of silver, filigree and antiques assembled by the private collector César Gomes. It was acquired by the local authority and opened as a museum on 1952. The closure is to allow survey of parts of the seventeenth century stone arches, with a view to maintaining structural integrity. The Museum of the Quinta das Cruzes reopens with normal opening hours, on 2 August.

Calheta rockfall warning

imageLast week saw another rockfall in Calheta, damaging cars in the Pingo Doce car park and surrounding area. Nobody was injured, but local geographer and environmentalist Raimundo Quintal, speaking to Funchal News, said that development in that particular area (around the supermarket and Calheta Beach Hotel) had been undertaken counter to a human tendency to avoid that location for the last five centuries. Previously, he said, there was only a village at the mouth of the river at the western end of the man-made beach, and another small village, located where the new Saccharum hotel has been built at the eastern end of the cliffs.
“The truth is that for so many centuries, across that stretch there has never been buildings, there were caves in the rock where people kept boats … locals knew that escarpment was extremely unstable, and that there was a risk zone,” says Raimundo, who believes that the safety nets that have been installed are insufficient protection. With the crowds attracted by the beach he believes that “the risk of fatal accidents is great”. There is a video of the rockfall  taken from the beach here.

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Banif. Sardines. Ronaldo. Banana and lapas festivals.

President offers help to help Banif victims

Albuquerque addressing regional parliamentThe Journal da Madeira reports online that the President of the Regional Government of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque said today that it will continue to influence the governance and financial authorities, “as far as possible” in order to help the victims of the collapse of Banco Internacional do Funchal (Banif). Last month it was reported some of those whose savings were wiped out or severely depleted in the disastrous Banif ‘rescue’ are to sue both the Bank of Portugal and the Stock Market Commission. The same people are also pursuing action against media accused of irresponsible reporting of the banks position in December 2015, causing a run on the bank. In late 2012 and early 2013, the Bank of Portugal convinced the government to inject €1,100 million into an ailing Banif, the “good” part of which was subsequently snapped up by Santander for €263 million.

Sardine fishing season to be extended

Shoal of sardinesPortugal’s government is considering prolonging the sardine fishing season until the end of October, and forecasts that the volume caught could increase compared with the forecasts at the beginning of the year, adding that “there will be another increase in 2017″. In a communiqué issued on Friday after a meeting with sector operators, environmentalist associations and scientists, the Portuguese minister for the sea said that “it is considered possible to prolong the fishing season until the end of October with the stock having recovered by an estimated 4%”.

Ronaldo favourite for 2016 Ballon d’Or

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has backed Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo to win the 2016 Ballon d’Or. The French star who is himself a (£105 million) target for both Manchester United and Real Madrid hailed Ronaldo’s achievement of winning trophies for both club and country in the same year. In a recent speech he said: “I’d give the Ballon d’Or to Ronaldo, he won the Champions League and the European Championship”.
Ferguson and Ronaldo hug after Euro 2016 finalMeantime his former Manager, Alex Ferguson is quoted in the German newspaper Bild: “ What is remarkable with such athletic football as today is that Cristiano continues to play at the highest level for over 10 years. That’s what makes it exceptional. Each generation has its special footballer, Cristiano is the current”.

Ronaldo, currently on holiday in Ibiza, comes to Madeira next week in order to be present at the official opening of the first Pestana CR7 Lifestyle Hotel in Funchal which is scheduled for next Friday, July 22, at 18.00.

Mostra Regional da Banana

Mostra Regional Banana posterThis weekend sees the Annual Regional Banana Show in Madelena do Mar – the full program can be found here

Festa da Lapa

Also this weekend is the popular Lapas Festival in neighbouring Paul do Mar

Plate of lapas

Finally…….

The Mail last Saturday published a photo of Messrs Cameron and Osborne enjoying Portuguese hospitality in Notting Hill just after having been swept from power by the  Brexit vote. Were they making some sort of statement, or just enjoying Pastéis de Nata?

Cameron and Osborne sitting outside Lisboa Patisserie in Notting Hill

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Brexit repercussions. Jazz Festival. CR7 and ALS. World Travel Awards.

EU residency status

In the aftermath of the Brexit vote there appears to be an unnecessary rush in the UK to guarantee the status of EU nationals living there. Certainly some of the initial Conservative leadership candidates, Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon, and others have demanded that the UK Parliament acts quickly to reassure the 2.9 million EU citizens currently living in the UK, including 175,000 Portuguese (many of those Madeirans), that their future is secure. Indeed 245 MPs voted in Parliament this week to protect their right to remain. But surely this is foolishly and prematurely throwing away a bargaining chip when it comes to securing the rights of just under 1.2 million UK citizens living in Europe?

Graph showing number of EU residents living in the UK

Doors closing on Open Skies?

Experts are beginning to ask what will happen to the US-EU Open Skies agreement when Brexit is completed. Signed in 2007, this permits any airline in the EU to fly to any point in the US and vice versa. The agreement was particularly significant for the UK because it opened up transatlantic opportunities to London Heathrow, whereas the previous bilateral agreement gave access only to American Airlines, British Airways, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. In theory, the UK would need to renegotiate a bilateral agreement with the US and that could take us back to the days of airline access limits.

easJet planes at Madeira airportLikewise any EU airline can fly to any EU country – a situation which will not apply to the UK after Brexit. This is presumably why rumours circulate about easyJet relocating from its Luton headquarters – it has already opened discussions with a number of European aviation regulators about the establishment of an Air Operator Certificate in a European country to enable easyJet to fly across Europe as freely as they do today. The AOC would give easyJet a legal base in another country and the right to operate an airline there.
What will happen post-Brexit to the previously cheap airfares from the UK to the rest of Europe remains to be seen, and higher airfares combined with a much weaker Sterling could mean that we see fewer Brits holidaying in Madeira?

Funchal Jazz Festival

Funchal Jazz Festival logo

Funchal Jazz Festival, organized by Funchal Municipal Council, takes place in Santa Catarina Park from July 14th – 16th featuring some of the most prestigious artists and groups from the national and international jazz world. Facebook page here.

Ronaldo’s fight against ALS

Cristiano Ronaldo in new Portugal coloursThe Diario reports that Cristiano Ronaldo invited Chantal Borgonovo, widow of former Italian player Stefano Borgonovo, to watch Portugal play France in the final of Euro2016 tomorrow in Saint-Denis.The paper reports that CR7 has been very active in the fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a disease which the Italian footballer suffered from, and he took the opportunity to invite Chantal to watch the game. She works with the foundation which bears her husband’s name – he died three years ago in Florence. “Cristiano and Jorge (Mendes – CR7’s agent) have always been close to my family and I am very happy and grateful to continue to remember my husband and support us in the fight against ALS”, said Borgonovo’s widow.

Vote for Europe’s Leading Island Destination

World Travel Awards logoDon’t forget to vote for Madeira as Europe’s Leading Island Destination before the World Travel Award voting closes on the 17th of this month –  if it wins this it will be a deserving addition to its title as the World’s Leading Island Destination, awarded by the same body last year.

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