Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Ryanair - Faro - Madrid Route

It has now been confirmed via several sources that Ryanair suspended their service between Faro and Madrid last week. Once again Faro has no direct air links to a growing and important tourist market.

The company cited the fact that after only 10 months of operation they only were achieving a 48,6% load factor on the route. However, the reports quoting this statistic fail to point out that Ryanair, while initially operating 7 flights a week on the route, dropped the frequency to 4 a week in early summer. It would be interesting to know if the percentage figure quoted reflected this or was calculated on 7 flights a week.

It would be also interesting to know whether they considered dropping frequencies to 3 times a week - loadings then presumably would increase accordingly to in the order of 60%. Ryanair do operate thrice weekly services on other routes in Europe - Why not Faro?

After the debacle of the cancellation of their Girona - Faro route after 2 months of operation, one has to question Ryanair's strategy for entering the Spain to Faro market. They were receiving incentives from the authorities to operate a route which in the case of Madrid - Faro would have become profitable over time. I question their complete lack of apppropriate local marketing (e.g. billboards) in the Algarve and Coast da Luz (Huelva) areas. Many locals, especially from the expat communities in the Algarve, were simply unaware of the route because they don't read the local press. it appears that, as with its policies elswhere in Europe, unless it can make a quick buck, they will get out of a route as soon as they can with minimal public announcements etc. This also happened recently on their Dublin to Porto Service. As a result passengers who h ad already booked their flights were offered refunds or alternatives seats on flights from Faro (600km away.)

Let's hope the Algarve tourism authorities (RTA) can attract other airlines to routes such as Faro - Madrid, as well as Faro - Paris and Faro Milan.

However, hopefully, not Ryanair!

While I understand that low-cost airlines have to depend on turnover, they should not expect to receive incentives for a route and then drop it when they want to. They should also do proper market research beforehand to try ensure viability of a route or accept that it takes time for traffic to develop and "stay the course."

Monday, 26 November 2007

Late night Public transport between seville airport and ayamonte

Unfortunately, the main bus operator on the Seville - Ayamonte route currently have their timetables off-line.

According to the TUSSAM site, there are buses from Seville Airport to Seville Sta. Justa station at 23:15,23:45,00:15 and 00:45. Sundays and Holidays last bus is at 23:45.

Once you get to Sta. Justa station you then have to get a local bus or taxi to the Plaza das Armas Bus Station. You will probably not arrive there till midnight at least.

From memory and a quick check of other websites, including Cubsur's, there are no buses between Seville and Ayamonte between 00:00 and 04:00. The 04:00 departure is operated by Socibus and is the continuation of the Madrid Service. However, the Socibus site suggests that the service, while stopping in Seville does not pick up for Ayamonte. has a departure at 23:59 to Ayamonte arriving 01:50.

You should check the availability of this service as it is an international service continuing to Faro in the Algarve and may be limited in winter. It will be a very tight connection unless you take a cab from Seville Airport to Plaza das Armas, which will cost +- € 30 methinks.

Their contact is:

ALSA Customer service
C/ Miguel Fleta, 4 - 2º
28037 - Madrid (Spain)

Telephone: 91 327 05 40

Bus is the only way to get from Seville to Ayamonte by public transport. There is no train service.

My gut instinct is that such a connection will be very tight and that if your flight is delayed you will be in deep doggy-doo.

Better to overnight in Seville and take a bus the next morning from Plaza das Armas. Subject to DAMAS timetable revisions buses leave Seville for Ayamonte at:

0930, 1100, 1230, 1530, 1800 and 1900

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Vueling - Lisbon to Seville

I am grateful to Anonymous, who unfortunately made a booking that was subsequently cancelled, for this news.

It appears that Vueling are not launching their promised Lisbon to Seville flights on 1 December 2007 as originally stated.

I apologise for the inconvienence you have suffered.

I try to ensure that information I post on this blog is correct at the time of posting.

What operators subsequently do, especially in the case of airlines such as Ryanair and in this case, Vueling, who do not announce publicly the ending of services or dropping of potential new services after being announced, it beyond my remit.

Again thanks for the info.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Portugal to Spain - Evora to Badajoz - Pt 2.

As regards trains, there definitely used to be a service years ago but it appears that passenger train services between Elvas and Badajoz have been discontinued. There are no timetables on the Portuguese Railways or Spanish Railways site and neither the Town Councils of Elvas and Badajoz have a mention of such a service. In fact they do not have any info on public transport between the 2 towns.

I am not aware of any cabs that run between the towns.

However, in most Portuguese towns like Evora and Elvas one will find a local cab. However, I suspect that they will try to charge an arm and a leg, even if you speak Portuguese...and even more so if you speak Spanish.

Have a look at the Badajoz Town Council Tourism site

You might want to email them for info.

Rede Expressos - A national Portuguese bus company are showing the following buses between Evora and Elvas at times that might be useful:

Evora: Partida: 13:45 h Arrive Elvas: 15:00 h
Evora: Partida: 17:00 h Arrive Elvas: 18:35 h
Preço: 9.50 €

As far as I can see most of the long distance trans frontier buses only operate at times that may be not useful to you i.e. early morning, lunchtime or late evening.

Eurolines have a bus leaving Evora at 11:15 arriving Badajoz at 13:45

You can find the Eurolines Spain Timetable in pdf format on my blog at:

>> Scroll down on the right until you come to the panel marked

"Algarve & Portugal - Travel Transport Links"

Scroll down to the item marked:

Eurolines Spain - Spain Portug"al Timetable - Winter 2008"

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Portugal to Spain - Evora to Badajoz

I must admit that I have not personally done this particular route by public sector transport.

However, Spanish bus operator Alsa shows a twice daily service at 11:15 and 22:45 running between Evora and Badajoz.

I would recommend the 11:15 one as it allows one to arrive at Badajoz at 13:45. The latter town is not one you really want to arrive in at 01:45 in the morning.

Alsa website:

Check out Cubsur's site here for more potential info:

See the section at the bottom of the page on travel between Portugal and Spain

Old Road Bridge Closure - Portimão

The old EN 125 metal road bridge over the Rio Arade in Portimão has been closed following instructions from the Government's Road Agency as it is in need of immediate repair.

It is likely to be closed through the second part of 2009 while being rehabilitated. This will cause delays to some local bus services.

See this artucle on cubsurś site for more:

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Traveling from Germany to Spain / Portugal - Winter

If warmth is what you are after, I do not recommend either mainland Spain nor Portugal in December as temperatures in both countries at that time are unlikely to exceed 17ºC and will probably be much lower.

You best bet is to consider the Spanish Canary Islands which are much farther South.and average temps in December of 21ºC.


Air Berlin operate to the Canaries from Dortmund and Tuifly from Dusseldorf and

I have not been to the Canary Isalnds from many years and you would need to research this further. However, they are within the EU and I understand that depending on your destination town there is pretty much year round action.