New direct flights from US to Madeira and Portugal announced

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Flights will start November 29 from JFK

Madeira receives its first direct flight from the United States. November 29. Weekly flights will start from New York JFK to the capital Funchal. Azores Airlines will facilitate the route, which also offers direct flights to Lisbon and the Azores.

funchal horizon

Madeira is an autonomous Portuguese region, located in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 600 miles south of the coast of Portugal. Geographically, it is much closer to the Canary Islands, and the Moroccan coast is only 300 miles away. It is made up of three distinct islands: Madeira, Porto Santo and Desertas.

The islands have experienced a relatively successful pandemic compared to other popular tourist destinations in Europe and hope to capitalize on their momentum.

funchal at night

Their success in navigating the choppy waters of COVID has earned them their best monthly tourism numbers ever, not just after the pandemic. Their statistics suggest August 2021 had more tourists than August 2019, long before the tribulations of COVID hit their shores.

This is in part due to their COVID Safe initiative. From July 2020, early compared to most European destinations, Madeira greeted passengers with a free COVID test. Testing could be taken before or after arrival, depending on the policies of each airline. If a passenger tests positive, free accommodation, meals and medical assistance will be provided for the duration of the specified quarantine period.

cable cars in Funchal

Their preventative strategy and the luxury of not having rigid borders have allowed the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo to be named the two safest islands in Europe.

Now the islands have no testing requirements for fully vaccinated people. A free COVID test on arrival is still available for those who are not fully vaccinated. According to several local travel sites, the accommodation costs of people who test positive will remain fully covered by the local authorities.

golf course in madeira
View of the golf course with an ocean floor

The islands have also established themselves as a destination for golfers. As restrictions loosen around the world, golf tourism is fueling mass bookings at the world’s most prestigious courses. With courses suggesting up to a year in arrears, some of Europe’s lesser-known courses are hoping to profit.

Madeira is a destination fully committed to filling this space, hoping to combine its world-class courses with the allure of its natural surroundings and vibrant wine culture. The winter flights now offered highlight an opportunity for those yearning for a fairway and warmer weather.

madeira walk

Whether the air route will be a success for Azures Airlines remains to be seen, and the decision seems tentative, with just one flight per week until March. But the potential of the small archipelago is high.

Those who choose to travel to the sunny islands can enjoy a hassle-free package if they so choose, including accommodation, airport transfers, and a travel expert for advice during the trip. The packages seem to be priced at around $ 1000 to start with. Inovtravel, a travel agency based in Portugal manages the packages.

the port of Madeira

Madeira Tourism Secretary Eduardo Jesus said: “We are delighted to welcome the new direct flight from New York to Madeira in November and to expand our presence in the US market. With flight options accessible from a variety of US getaways, we look forward to welcoming more US travelers in the coming months to Madeira’s paradise.

porto santo beach

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