TAP strike. Bird photos banned. Lights latest.

Festive flights fiasco

Thousands of passengers are having to rethink their travel plans over the festive period with unions representing all of TAP Portugal’s twelve different departments  deciding on Wednesday night in favour of strike action for a period of four days from 27 to 30 December. The move cannot  help the Government’s announcement last month that it has renewed its efforts to privatise the national flag carrier. Portugal’s Minister for the Economy, Pires de Lima, is to return from the States to attend last minute meetings but according to various press reports any hopes of a settlement around the negotiating table appear unlikely. In their joint statement, the unions said the strike action was aimed “at encouraging the Government to put the brakes on the privatisation process”. However, Pires de Lima, when questioned as to whether there was a possibility of the Government going back on its plans to privatise the airline, answered “that is not even a matter for consideration”.

The national airline took to social media yesterday to clarify its position on the matter. In a post in English on its Facebook page, the airline said: “TAP is aware, as communicated by the media, that a strike has been decided today. Still, we have not yet received any official notice from any union confirming this information. If and when the notice required by law is received, all the information will be communicated to our customers”. Due to the airline’s position, passengers with flights already booked for 27,28,29 and 30 December, are unable to make changes to their flights without incurring additional costs. Update below.

Birds of prey photos to stop

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Just realised that I missed a bit of good news last week; Funchal Municipal Council has finally decided to prohibit the “traveling exhibitions of animals for commercial purposes” through the streets of the city. In other words they are outlawing the photos sold to tourists of them posing with various birds of prey, cruelly tethered on short leads. The local authority has claimed for some while that the eradication of a number of groups considered to be operating illegally has been a priority, but has now taken concrete steps to prohibit the activity, requesting the intervention of the Public Security Police (PSP). CMF has also tried to warn one operator specifically against  what is considered to be an "occupation of public roads to carry out an exhibition for commercial purposes" – Tiago Cardoso holds a license issued by the Natural Park of Madeira, which lets you keep captive animals, but this does not allow him to operate on the public road in the municipality. He has been asked to cease his activities and the Natural Park of Madeira appraised of the situation.

Christmas light controversy continues

Foto Hélder Santos/ASPRESSThe Diario reports that a demonstration against the perceived poor quality of the lights this year has now been organised for this Saturday on Facebook: As of early Friday, 714 say they will be attending.
Meanwhile the beleaguered Regional Secretary for Tourism and Transport, Conceição Estudante, who is held responsible for the controversial lights, will attend their official opening at 6.00pm today (Fri) at Infoart Space, Avenida Arriaga. Apparently more lights still have to be installed (see previous blog) – perhaps people are over-reacting too quickly? That would be not be good for the island as it just generates unnecessary negative publicity.

Update: the company installing the lights, Luzoesfera, has had its deadline extended to next Friday, 19th December. Conceição Estudante said yesterday that its failure was “very clear”, including using colours that were not specified. It has emerged, however, that the budget is only €98,000 this year compared to as much as €300,000 in previous years.

TAP strike update

The Portugal News reports that some deft work from Pires de Lima (see lead story above) on Friday afternoon gave hope to thousands of Christmas travellers pre-booked on TAP flights. The Economy Minster said after a meeting with the TAP multi-trade union group that he will know on Monday if his proposals have been accepted and whether the planned four day strike can be averted. Pires de Lima has proposed the creation of a working group to examine the concerns of TAP staff. A further announcement is possible over the weekend..

14 thoughts on “TAP strike. Bird photos banned. Lights latest.”

  1. great news about the birds, rumours were they were often sedated, also some of them were nocturnal birds, what were they thinking of using them during the daytime. money making racket at the expense of beautiful birds.

  2. Here, here. The owner should not be allowed to
    hold a licence. After our stay and witnessing these wonderful birds being paraded for entertainment and as a money earner,I contacted various wildlife charities to see if anything could be done. Never heard back but I hope many visitors and residents complained.

  3. The best Christmas tree displays can be seen in the Madeira Medical Centre – somebody has gone to a lot of work and it looks wonderful.

    I personally am glad that my six year old niece didn’t make the journey out here this year to see the Christmas lights that we have always raved about – even Madeirans are disappointed.

  4. From the online Diario at 2.30 pm – the movement of landings and take-offs at Madeira Airport is conditioned due to the strong wind in the Santa Cruz, registering the cancellation of 12 links (inbound and outbound) and three aircraft diverged to Porto Santo.

    This morning only managed to land two aircraft, the flight of Aerovip Porto Santo and a SATA coming from Ponta Delgada.

    In terms of matches, raised the TP 1710 to Porto at 07:05 and at 10:02 Aerovip.

    By late morning, according to airport source, this situation has affected the arrivals of the six scheduled flights with Easyjet and TAP from Lisbon, Porto, London and Bristol, which diverged to the Portuguese capital.

    Adverse conditions have prevented the corresponding matches, a total of 12 air links.

    To Porto Santo also diverged flights of Edelweiss Air Zurich, Germania Flug of Jersey and the Transavia France come from Lyon.

    Madeira is now under yellow warning by the Sea Portuguese Institute and the Atmosphere (IPMA) because of the strong wind forecasts until 21:00, with gusts of around 90 km / hour in mountainous areas.

    The archipelago is also under orange warning for sea waves on the North Shore until 6:00 Sunday due northwest of waves 5-6 meters, reaching up to 10-11 meters.

    For this reason, the Porto Santo Line, the owner of ‘Lobo Marinho’, the vessel performs the maritime links between Madeira and Porto Santo canceled the planned travel today “due to bad weather conditions which jeopardize the safety of ship and its passengers. “

  5. Reply to Sue Garajau (from Thursday),

    I remember reading that you are supposed to be able to change the colour of the lights using a smartphone, as you can with LED Smartbulbs in your home. Google sent me to this article from the VisitMadeira website.

    NEW CHRISTMAS LIGHTS DELIGHT FUNCHAL

    The Regional Secretary for Culture, Tourism and Transport presented the project for the new city’s downtown Christmas lights, a work by the architect Paulo David.
    Within the wide range of innovations presented, the project includes the implementation of illuminated ‘ceilings’, displayed in different squares of Funchal’s city centre, based on decorative elements of the architecture and history of Madeira.
    The main buildings of Funchal’s city centre will also be illuminated, presenting illuminated outlines, highlighted with light wires, an artistic concept inspired by the Christmas lighting of the 40’s. In the particular case of the city pier, its decoration will be based on one of the main cultural elements of the city, with the recreation of the “lit” ceiling of the high altar of the Cathedral (Sé Catedral) .
    Illuminated art installations designed by the architect will be placed a little all over Funchal.
    Another of the novelties is the possibility for Madeirans and visitors to change the illumination colour of some installations, through a mobile application.

  6. Christmas lights protest was a big let down, with hardly anyone turning up. I just hope that all the people that didn’t turn up don’t complain about the lights anymore especially if they think it will affect their business.

  7. From what I can make out from the chat over on skyscrapercity things are now moving on and should look a lot more complete by the start of next week.

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