Porto Santo flights “disaster”
Those who follow the local press will have read a number of stories over the last week about flights to Porto Santo being cancelled on short notice or delayed without apparent reason. Some of these have been straightforward cancellations, others caught up in the bad weather mid-week. The reason has become a little clearer now, as it appears that Binter, the airline which won the tender to operate the link just at the beginning of June, is currently operating without a contract, which should have been issued by the central government in Lisbon.
Miguel Albuquerque, president of the Regional Government, has weighed in to the controversy, claiming that the Government of the Republic, in his opinion, was “negligent”, because “we have a company flying without a contract “. “Once again the Government of the Republic was negligent because it opened the contest (tender) very late after we had provided the elements in late 2016. They were putting off and, at the moment, I think the direct adjustment ended on Wednesday, and that the company without the contract in hand was reluctant to fly, and that is why we have a disastrous situation”.
Quoted in the Diario, Albuquerque lamented that 12 flights had already been cancelled, with the aggravation of not having communication to the passengers, some of whom have taken to social media to vent their frustrations. What, in his opinion, “is a shame”. “On Wednesday we sent a letter to the Minister asking for explanations about what was happening, we have not got a response yet and nobody knows what is happening. This is once again the demonstration of how this Government treats the population of Madeira, because this connection is fundamental and should be treated and safeguarded the rights of passengers”.
He added that a letter had been requested on the terms of this contract, but it appears that the contract is still in the Court of Auditors in Lisbon “That is, this contest was opened late and in bad hours after the deadline has been extended, this direct adjustment is over and nobody has done anything, it seems that Madeira does not exist, that it is a fiction and that there are no citizens here to live, who do not need to go from one place to another. At the moment, we have a caricature situation, because we have a company flying without a contract” he said, adding that the Government of the Republic must urgently address this situation.