Madeira airport problems.


Don’t know what today will see at the airport, but the omens are not good, with TAP telling customers travelling to/from Madeira not to go to any airport unless their flight is confirmed. IPMA, the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere continues to place the southern part of the island under yellow warning due to high temperatures and strong winds, with gusts predicted reach 80 kilometres/hour on the eastern end of the island. As early as last Thursday, ANA warned of adverse weather conditions between Saturday and Tuesday, which could cause problems at Madeira airport.

When more news becomes available I will post it here during the day.
9.30: There are already nine scheduled arrivals cancelled , mostly TAP. This includes a Lisbon flight that is shown on FlightRadar24 as having turned back. A TUI Fly plane from Amsterdam also looks to be heading for Porto Santo. Nine departures are already cancelled for today, mostly smaller operators to continental Europe. None of the major UK Operators have cancelled yet, but Jet2 is already estimating 17.00 departures for its lunchtime flights.
10.30: The airports website appears to be down. FlightRadar24 shows that the Birmingham Monarch flight just landed.
11.00: Airport website still playing up, but it looks like a batch of flights, including the usual early UK ones, landed soon after 10.00 and have continued to do so. An easyJet flight from Gatwick is holding, so not everything is straightforward. Landed now.
16.00: The Diario reports online that the strong winds that have affected flights at Madeira Airport since Friday has caused the cancellation of 101 flights and affected 14,700 passengers according to ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal. Today, there was a interval of calm in the wind conditions between 10 and 12 o’clock as reported above, which made possible 11 landings.
18.00: Looks like some problems may have returned, with some flights encountering difficulties again. A TAP flight from Lisbon is currently coming back for a second attempt. A couple have now landed.
19.00: Just talking to a returning holidaymaker at the airport – more problems apparently, as later flights try to land. So far today 22 flights have landed.

5,500 passengers and 56 flights affected

Madeira Airport arrivals boardBoth the Journal and the Diario report this morning that around 5,500 passengers were affected by the cancellation of dozens of flights over the weekend at Madeira Airport due to the strong wind, according to ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal. A total of 56 flights were cancelled and another two technically described as delayed. Since midnight yesterday, according to the ANA website, 23 landings and 24 take-offs were cancelled and only two flights departed from Funchal airport, both to the mainland very early yesterday morning. During the day, six aircraft were diverted to Porto Santo, five of which still remain on that island. A Monarch flight from Gatwick eventually went to Las Palmas, in the Canaries.

Porto Santo ferry to make extra trip

Porto Santo FerryPorto Santo Line will carry out an extra trip today (Monday) according to the company’s website. A statement says that due to the problems with air operations experienced in recent days in the Region and being aware of the significant contribution that the maritime transhipment alternative has been making in reducing the impact of this situation, the operation of Porto Santo Line will be reinforced with an additional trip, at the following times:
– Porto Santo – Funchal: 12h30
– Funchal – Porto Santo: 16h
Passengers who wish to change their tickets, originally booked for Porto Santo – Funchal at 20.00, to the new time of 12.30, can do so, without additional costs (tel: +351 291 210 300).

The Secretary of Tourism has, according to the Diario, suggested a future strategy to minimise the inconvenience of passengers who cannot land at Madeira Airport due to strong winds. The plan would be to operate a transfer between Porto Santo and Caniçal at the eastern end of Madeira, using the Porto Santo ferry. Presumably this would cut the journey time significantly and allow the “Lobo Marinho” to make more journeys between the two islands when planes divert. There would still be a problem with the number of planes that the Porto Santo airport can accommodate on the ground at any one time.

Regional Government response

The Madeiran government said today that a “structural solution” to the island’s airport conditions is the responsibility of the airport authority ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal, but considered that in the last days there was an “effective response” to the problems caused by the strong wind that since August 5 have been affecting Madeira Airport

“It will be important to remember that the Regional Government [of Madeira] is responsible for the management of the destination, not the structural solution of the problem. This responsibility belongs to ANA, a source from the Secretariat of Economy, Tourism and Culture told press agency Lusa. The Madeiran executive considered that in this case there was an “effective response” from the hotel units, travel agencies and Porto Santo Line.

15 thoughts on “Madeira airport problems.”

  1. What are the roads like between Funchal and Caniçal?

    Seems otherwise like a good plan. The question of too many planes at Porto Santo could be “solved” by making this a two-way system.

    (I.e. decide winds are going to be questionable for several days and for those days fly only to/from Porto Santo. A crazy idea?)

  2. At the end of the day the weather will do what the weather wants to do. We mere humans have no control of the situation. It’s a pain in the bum but one we have to accept and live with.

  3. Earlier Easy Jet from Lisbon has turned back due to winds….BUT later (just) a TUI from Amsterdam(?) just landed and TUI from Birmingham on finals…wind dropped at the moment…..just landed….TUI east midlands and others in que …. looking better at the moment!

  4. JetTime from Helsinki didn’t start at all. We are waiting for a new go tomorrow morning or the morning after that. We hope it’s tomorrow because we are coming there to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We have visited Madeira 20+ times and this is the first time anything like this has happened to us. We have been lucky with the weather and have always landed according the schedule.

    • JO 927 JetTime ex-Helsinki is on the arrivals list at Funchal Airport for Tuesday as arriving at 13:00 (leaving 14:00).

      Hope that time sticks and you make it in time for your 20th anniversary!

  5. Wind just gone out of limits….including for take offs…….EasyJet (Gatwick) is actually taxying back in from the TO point at end of Runway……and EasyJet Bristol sat on dispersal along with Monarch to LGW and some other estimated x4 aircraft not “on line” just parked and waiting…..

  6. Had text from my son at Gatwick, second day there , to say BA flight will not be going today.. I’ve sent him a link to this blog. Thanks for updates – weather forecast seems depressing with these crosswinds….

  7. One in = TAP from Lisbon (held for a while) and two just out……EJ to Bristol (were the pax sat on the ac all that time….?) TC to Copenhagen and EJ to LGW…..Finnair to Helsinki getting ready, also TUI to Luton ….it changes – we’ll see. GOOD LUCK everyone.

    • If Finnair to Helsinki is getting ready to leave Madeira (earlier post), it must have landed today. At least that’s my assumption based on my winter experience of one Finnair flight a week.

  8. Do you have any news about the Choupana Hills Hotel since the fire last year? Are they planning on re-building the hotel? I should very much like to hear. Thank you.

  9. Choupana Hills was up for sale, the last I saw, Ann H. On sale for 4 million euros or thereabouts… so I doubt anything will happen with it soon as they’ll need to get the buyer lined up first and then the rebuild will take some time. Such a shame… I spent two very happy birthdays there in the same cabin, now completely destroyed, sadly.

  10. Hello,
    I am from Paris, and our departure forecast at 06h20 with Transavia is postponed until tomorrow.
    Climatic conditions are still bad.
    So, they told us to come back tomorrow… for a take offs at 13h45.
    I don’t know if i still feel like going in Madeira because i will loose 2 days of vacations.
    Do you know if i could obtain a reimbursement because of the wind ?
    Many thanks


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