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Horta ,  July 03, 2019

Azoreans' mobility "is quite different from what it was," says Ana Cunha

The Regional Secretary for Transport and Public Works stated today at the Legislative Assembly in Horta that "it is undeniable that the mobility of Azorean residents is quite different from what it was 15 years ago, 10 years or even five years ago."
"We are, in fact, on the right track," said Ana Cunha, who spoke during an interpellation to the Government on transport and accessibility.
"This Government has managed to introduce the Social Mobility Aid. This Government was responsible for the liberalisation of air fares, the implementation of Public Service Obligations for inter-island air transport and in some gateways; the latter are largely superseded in the operation plans set out by SATA Internacional and SATA Air Açores with the stipulation of price thresholds for air fares," recalled the Secretary for Transport.
The Regional Secretary stressed that the numbers of passengers transported in recent years speak for themselves. They "cannot be denied" and "are an evidence that the model implemented yields results."
According to Ana Cunha, "saying that this Government does not pursue a policy for air transport or a policy for maritime transport could not be further from the truth." As she emphasised, this is clearly evident in "the Government's Programme, in the options for the medium term and in the Plan established for each governmental department, namely the one developed for the Secretariat for Transport and Public Works."
The Regional Secretary restated that, as she had recently told at the Committee on Economic Affairs, there were "constraints" in the maritime transport operation. However, this was "the first time that Atlânticoline failed to begin the seasonal operation due to the shipowner's breach of contract."
Even so, this public company "has managed to charter a substitute vessel in such a short amount of time, whose negotiations took between a Saturday and a Tuesday, and then the delay was caused by the time the vessel took to arrive here." Nevertheless, it has still arrived before the other chartered vessel.
Ana Cunha also recalled that the breakdown on the vessel "Gilberto Mariano," whose repair was expected to take about 15 days, was fixed a week earlier and, consequently, it was put back into operation more quickly.
The Regional Secretary also mentioned the constraints in the air transport operations for Pico and Faial, reminding "a five cancelled flights within 15 days. One was due to technical issue, more specifically a bird strike, and the remaining four were due to lack of technical crew."
In regard to lack of pilots at SATA, the situation "is being solved by the recruitment procedures in progress." The Government and SATA "are doing everything within their reach to avoid these situations in the future."
"Whenever possible, the Administration Board of SATA and the Government will do everything within their reach to prevent these situations from happening again," assured Ana Cunha.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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