TAP … Madeira's new budget airline, New labours laws, What's on this weekend ….

TODAYS PHOTO : Thanks to Tobi … a great photo and a final reminder of this month’s flower festival

Source : Diário de Notícias 24/4/2008

Having typed it out and got it all ready, I lost everything for todays blog … so I am having to do it again from memory, but only two top stories.

The first one is about the new labour laws which were announced on Tuesday by the Portuguese Government. Seemingly designed to improve the lot of employees, it in fact in places works the other way, making it easier to fire people who do not adapt to change / technology. It also gives more support to working parents, and allows for more flexibility in the schedule of a worker. Social security payments will rise for companies employing staff on term contracts, holidays stay at a minimum of 22 days but can be increased to 25 for the reliable workers. Anyway, it’s all causing a lot of controversy.

TAP (Portuguese airline) surprised the travel industry by anouncing ‘budget prices’ on it’s Madeira routes, well for 20,000 passengers anyway. For those who are residents, it’s theoretically possible to travel for €1 plus all the taxes and extras, taking into account the Madeira residents subsidy. In reality, all the added charges mean you will more likely pay €90 net if you qualify. This is all in aid of the ‘clear skies’ agreement which is now in effect, and effectively disables TAPs 50+ year monopoly on the Madeira route. TAP have pledged to maintain the services currently operated despite the threat of increased competition, and have set themselves a target of a 36% increase in passengers from last years 700,000+

Also mention of a Porto to Madeira route, and confirmation of the flights already known about to Paris (shared code), London (7 flights a weeks), and Madrid (weekly). They will be operating 218 Madeira connections a week over the coming months.

SATA (the Azores based airline) not to be outdone, also announced a not quite so stunning deal (no details given), but gave details of a scheduled flight planned from Madeira to the Canary Islands (Gran Canaria, Las Palmas) starting this July.

All offers are available through the internet and travel agents for both TAP and SATA. Links on the ‘Travel / Flights’ page on the madeira4u website.

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We now have an advertising taxi driver on the main website now, so please give ‘Rafael Taxi’ a go, and mention madeira4u when booking (if he knows where the bookings originate, he is more likely to look after you, and renew his advertisement next year) – many thanks!

I am sure you will all be waking up this morning thinking ‘ah! Revolution Day!’ ‘cos we have a feriado here today (public holiday) to celebrate, though blog writers work as normal of course. Portugal lost it’s monarchy nearly 100 years ago and became a republic before falling into dictatorship in 1926. That situation lasted until 34 years ago exactly, when the army overthrew the dictatorship. Last night I asked a local dignatory whether life was better or worse on Madeira since 1974, and she replied it was much better until about 10 years ago, and now it’s got worse.

She also let me have a look at her budget book, so a quick flick to the Rib. Bra. section revealed that for 2008 a staggering €3.8 million! has been allocated to the existing sport stadium here … which she was very quick to point out came from the regional government, not from local taxpayers. Funny thing football here, it’s practically all funded through government (tax payers money) and all the league clubs get generous handouts and all make huge financial losses. Of course Nacional and Marítimo get the most, but it’s rumoured that Marítimo get even more because that’s President Jardim’s favourite team.

Anyway, I strayed a little … so what goes on on Revolution day now you ask? Aside from the previously mentioned biggest ever ski jet event in Funchal bay which starts today and lasts until Sunday, it’s also a big musical weekend. Tomorrow night in São Martinho is a big music dance festival with internationally recognised DJs, so I won’t be doing that one.

More interesting is the ‘Antena 3 on tour’ event on Calheta beach tomorrow night (Antena Três being a nacional radio station). This event will only have Madeiran DJs, but the Madeiran group ‘On Mute’ will also be playing, and that’s just a warm up for the main attraction BLASTED MECHANISM, one of the best known groups in Portugal.

If you are over that way go and have a look, as they are very visual (they all dress up as aliens on their video’s). It’s a sort of middle rock genre so it’s not too heavy … and don’t forget to send me a picture.

www.madeira4u.com

Aside from your valued blog responses, please send any unreported Madeira news, photos, events information, or snippets for the madeira4u blog to blog@madeira4u.com – thank you!

5 thoughts on “TAP … Madeira's new budget airline, New labours laws, What's on this weekend ….”

  1. if you want to know what Blasted Mechanism are like, cut and paste this: youtube blasted battle tribes mechanism :into your browser and take a look

  2. Hi Der

    Having a moan as you mention the dreaded TAP and their so called reduced prices. I went to Lisbon via TAP in Dec/Jan this year and was firstly aguast at the price of the flight then at the lack of facilities on board. It would have been cheaper for me to have flown to Gatwick, then to Lisbon than a direct flight from here. To add insult to the inflated price, the meal on board is pathetic, delivered to you in a cardboard hot dog holder with a roll, no butter, a sliver of revolting green ham and a partial lettuce leaf. The drink offered came out of a supermarket bottle both soft, fizzy and wine if you wanted it! No expence spared and obviously cutting costs! Whilst in Lisbon I chanced upon meeting two top executive boards of directors to TAP and approached them about their inflight goodies and cost of the flight and needless to say the response was what I expected – rude.
    However I did fly back to the Uk last week and took another (not so cheap flight via easyjet)and before anyone asks – no I do not get a discount or any freebies 'cos I write the Funchal city guide for the inflight mag! But was absolutely shocked at the price of the inflight 'goodies' you have to pay for as you on;y pay for the flight and of course your luggage and of course all the extras you require…..but really 70 euros is taking the piss when 4 are flying and you only get a stale sandwhich each, 2 soft drinks in a can, a couple of G&T's and a couple of baby bottles of wine for your money?????? Then to be offered an inflight movie at a cost of 2 quid for a plastic bit of wire to hear it with and it be a 5 year old film – Ice Age number one!!!!
    As you guessed, I am not a happy bunny today and do not look forward to choosing the airline I next take my flight back home on as it seems that these so called good and cheap deals is a complete farce and it's cheaper to stay here in the warm and get sloshed a for a couple of euros than go through the rigmoral of the now peeving new laws at the airports and extortion you have to suffer at the hands of these airlines!!!
    –Sam and not afraid to tell you w

  3. Quite agree with you Sam, TAP can stick their prices where the sun dont shine , and easy jet is like cattle class, and a dash for seats as there is no seat allocation, BRING BACK BA and make us a little happier….

    Had a lovely day today, did the 25 Fonts levada, very nice… But what a warm day , with the heat coming from Africa and so early for this to happen.
    –Tobi

  4. its Easyjet for me next week … for less than €100 return, I am not complaining and would be happy to stand for that. Sam, enough there for a complete blog … I think you wrote more than me! Thanks. Forgot to mention that Blasted Mechanism sing in English (I think!)
    –Der

  5. i think that your all taking flights for granted, with the price of oil going through the roof and may other costs going up i'd count myself lucky to get a flight that cheap.

    As in many things in life you get what you paid for, if you want better service pend more on the flight, at the end of the day i wouldn't mind having nothing to eat on the flight, its not even four hours to get from manchester to funchal!!

    If some one can't go for food for that long then the must think that i starve, because last time i flew i left my place 3 hours befor the flight to have plenty of time, had a quick drink and a small cake at the airport and then didn't eat again till 6 at night!

    –Wil

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