New Cargo Plane
Largely unnoticed among the chaos of all the cancelled flights at the beginning of last week, a new cargo service was launched, linking Madeira to the mainland. The inaugural Swiftair flight was late due to the high winds, but unlike others it did manage to land last Tuesday!
The aircraft is capable of transporting eight tons and the operation is scheduled to run from Tuesday to Saturday, arriving in Funchal at 08:30 and departure for Lisbon at 2:15 pm, with the cost of transportation being around one euro per kilo. A spokesman said that Swiftair is already establishing agreements with other companies so that after Lisbon there can be “better connections” with the rest of Europe, where regional products such as fish, meat, flowers and fruits will be exported.
Swiftair is a Spanish registered airline operating 48 cargo and passengers aircraft. The company’s main business is operating freighter flights between Madrid and the Spanish archipelagos of the Canary Islands and the Balearics.
Rali Vinho Madeira
The “Madeira Wine Rally” is the largest motor racing event in the Region and starts this Thursday. It is part of the Tour European Rally (TER) championship, whose main objective is to increase visibility and promote tourism in the regions that host rounds in the championship series a sporting event that attracts many who are curious and passionate about motorsports, gathering along the regional roads to watch the cars pass by and see the skill of the pilots. The full program is here.
Several stretches of road are closed to traffic on certain days, starting on Wednesday – a full list is here
Jet2.com is now charging passengers for hand luggage
Various UK newspapers including the Telegraph reported last week that passengers flying with Jet2.com must now pay an additional fee if they want to guarantee their hand luggage does not end up in the hold. On busy flights it has become increasingly common for airlines to ask people to part with carry-on bags so they can be stored with the checked luggage below.
The Telegraph claims that Jet2.com spotted a potential revenue opportunity in this routine and is now charging passengers £2.59 each way to guarantee they can travel with their hand luggage. The airline’s “guaranteed cabin baggage” option is offered to customers just before they purchase their tickets online. A message states: “On busy flights, we may need to ask you to put your 10kg hand luggage in the hold if we’ve run out of space in the cabin. If you want to be certain of keeping your hand luggage with you, simply add guaranteed cabin luggage now”.
The new fee means a family of four could have to fork out an extra £20 to go on holiday this summer. This is likely to rile passengers who are already feeling the pinch of a weakened pound, however, Jet2.com defended its new fee, claiming it offered an “industry leading” 10kg of hand luggage to all passengers.
The news comes a week after another low-cost carrier, Wizz Air, announced it would be scrapping its carry-on luggage fees due to a backlash from passengers.The airline charges up to €35 (£31) for standard-sized cabin bags, depending on the time booked, but such fees will be dropped from October 29, bringing Wizz in line with Ryanair and Easyjet.Airlines are making more money than ever before through add-ons such as priority boarding and seat selection fees. And it has been alleged that low-cost carriers are getting sneakier when it comes to making passengers part with their cash; Ryanair has faced repeated claims that it is splitting up groups on its flights to encourage them to pay for selected seating. The airline denies the claim.