EasyJet has officially opened its third base in Portugal, a summer operation at Faro airport serving the Algarve.
Three Airbus A320 aircraft have been allocated to the base, which will operate from March through to October. Operations there got under way on 1 June, creating 100 jobs.
EasyJet will offer 21 routes to and from Faro, including services to Belfast, Bristol, Gatwick, Liverpool, Luton and Manchester.
Operations were dealt an early blow, though, after it was confirmed on 3 June Portugal would be removed from the UK government’s quarantine-free green list on 7 June, just three weeks after the country became the first mainstream tourist destination to be green lit.
EasyJet opened its first base in Portugal, in Lisbon, in 2012, before expanding to Porto in 2015. It announced plans for a Faro operation last October, along with a seasonal base in Malaga where operations got under way earlier this year.
Portugal’s secretary of state for tourism, Rita Marques, joined easyJet chief Johan Lundgren for the launch, along with other dignitaries.
"Despite the challenges that the aviation and tourism sectors are experiencing as a result of the pandemic, this new opening demonstrates easyJet’s commitment to Portugal as an airline that contributes to the sustainable growth of the country and the rest of the European network," said Lundgren.
"We are in the process of recovery, and opening this seasonal base allows us to respond positively to the resilient and growing demand that is expected across Europe over the summer months."