Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Stop Press: Portugal - Airports - Off-site Car Hire firms to be charged from 1st April 2014

It appears that recently privatised Portuguese airport operator has bowed to pressure from the main "Big" car hire operators with counters at their airports and has decided to levy a charge of between 10 and 17 Euros for each car hired at the airport from "non-licensed" car hire firms.

Article here (in Portuguese) in today's Diario Economico on-line edition: http://bit.ly/1cLfoHR

 While I am not against private companies charging for services, this substantial levy will have a very severe effect on the "low-cost" and independent car hire operators PARTICULARLY at Faro Airport which services the Algarve region.

In recent years, the Economic Crisis, the introduction of tolls on the A22 Via de Infante Motorway and the increased cost of flights, has made the Algarve, and particularly, its extremities more and more expensive to visit.

It may well result in several local Algarve car hire firms folding, creating more unemployment, as holidaymakers may well decide the Algarve is becoming to costly a destination.

 I cannot see ana.pt going back on this under commercial pressure but the implications will be profound.