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Horta ,  April 17, 2018

Never have people travelled so much to the Azores as they do today, says Ana Cunha

The Regional Secretary for Transport and Public Works highlighted today the improvements registered in recent years in the accessibility system that serves the archipelago, not only in the flight connections to and from the Azores but also in inter-island flight connections.
Ana Cunha spoke at the Legislative Assembly, stating that the Azorean Government "plays its role, without hesitation, in this and other matters. Indeed, it works together with all parties involved to ensure that transport and accessibility, increasingly correspond to the expectations of the Azorean population at various levels."
In this context, she stressed that the results are visible in several indicators, highlighting the air transport model in force since 2015 and the impact of the largest reform ever of air accessibility on the regional economy. The results are quite evident in the economy and development of the Azores.
The Regional Secretary recalled that 655 thousand more passengers landed at regional airports in 2017. According to her, this represents an increase of "72% compared to the number of passengers that landed in 2014, the year prior to the implementation of the new accessibility model, which registered a total of 908 thousand passengers." The government official also stressed that impact of this reality on the tourism sector "is well known and quite evident."
"There are those who refuse to see this reality. There will always be. This is always the case," Ana Cunha said, adding that the "entry of new operators into the air transport market to and from the Azores has led to an increase in supply, the reduction of accessibility costs, the increase of mobility for residents and tourists and the mitigation of seasonality. Consequently, this situation has generated confidence and optimism among the majority of economic agents."
"Never have people travelled so much to the Azores. Never have people made so much inter-island travels. This is the reality. As a result of these changes, the regional economy is different and for the better," she stressed, noting that the Government has carried out profound changes in the maritime transport of passengers and vehicles that have significantly improved the sector.
"Taking into account both operations (seasonal and regular), Atlânticoline carried 586,110 passengers in 2017, when it had transported 463,441 passengers in 2013, which corresponds to an increase of 26.5%," stressed Ana Cunha. She assured that, after the accident with vessel "Mestre Simão," the Regional Government began working replace her as soon as possible.
The Regional Secretary also highlighted the investment in port infrastructures. In this regard, she added that investments amounting to 52 million Euros are underway, ranging from the redevelopment of infrastructures to repair of damages caused by storms. There are also interventions to be launched by the end of this year.
"Airport infrastructures have also been the subject of continuous investments," said Ana Cunha. In the period between 2005 and 2015, nearly 42 million Euros were invested in regional aerodromes, which adds up to the investment of 29 million Euros in the Civil Airport in Lajes.
Notwithstanding the improvements registered, Ana Cunha assured that the Azorean Government will continue to work towards the development of the nine islands, recalling that setbacks and unforeseen events are part of the development process.
"You can be sure that this Government does not hesitate in the face of setbacks and unforeseen events. The Azoreans know they can rely on us," said the Regional Secretary.


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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