Airport terminal from outside with green windows

In 2023, 1,429 new air routes were created to and from Europe. And Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport is in the top 20 of European infrastructures: of the 63 new connections to Portuguese territory, 28 have airlines flying to Porto.

The conclusion comes from Air Service One, which specializes in analyzing commercial aviation data, and places Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, France and Germany at the top of the list of countries with the most new routes.

The ranking of airports is headed by Antalya, in Turkey, and Gatewick, in the UK, both with 47 air links created in 2023, followed by Fiumicino, which serves the Italian city of Italy, with 46.

The tendency to put Porto airport on the travel route, explains Pedro Castro, a specialist in the commercial aviation sector, in statements to Negócios, shows how “the city of Porto and the entire surrounding region have become a destination in their own right” and “with an airport that is more available and operationally reliable”.

“The self-inflicted and state-sponsored restriction of Lisbon airport does not have the effect of diverting planes to Madrid. One of the consequences is that the airlines are starting to look at the other national airports, observe the flows and traffic potential in more detail and, in this line of thinking, are betting on Porto as a viable alternative,” he adds.

The expert adds that the 15 million passengers served by Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport are from Porto or have the region as their destination, and it doesn’t work as a hub.

“If we discount the approximately 28% of Lisbon’s 32 million passengers who only change planes and could do so anywhere, we realize that the difference in potential between the two airports is smaller than it appears and that the companies find Porto a pleasant surprise for their expansion in Portugal,” says Pedro Castro.