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Faro Airport has up to now been a small destination located some 4 km distance out of the city of Faro in Portugal. Rising passenger demand has resulted in some extensive renovation and expansion works being carried out. Between January and April 2011 the airport saw passenger number increase by 42.5%.
During the summer holiday season, which runs from May to October, Faro is at its busiest, so much so that airlines have to put up with a slot co-ordinated system. Some 5.4 million passengers passed through the airport’s gates in 2008 and since then numbers have been steadily rising, particularly since Ryanair decided to base seven aircraft at the airport in 2010, opening up the budget flight market.
The airport has a total of 60 check-in desks and 36 boarding gates. It offers passengers the choice of some eight car hire companies, which have rental stations located in the arrivals area. The rental desks of car hire suppliers such as Auriga, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt are open for business from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm daily.
Being so near the A22 motorway connection, car hire is a convenient option for many holidaymakers heading for the Algarve and the capital Lisbon or to the Spanish border.
Faro Airport is currently undergoing a large scale development, which started in 2009 and is envisaged to finish in 2013. Demands for greater passenger safety, better facilities and greater capacity have meant that the single terminal has to undergo renovation and expansion. In the near future FOA is said to welcome between six to eight million passengers a year.
Among the many international and domestic airlines using Faro Airport are the carriers Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Easyjet, Germanwings, Lufthansa, Jet2.com, Monarch, Niki, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair, Scandinavian Airlines and Thomas Cook Airlines.
Passengers have a large choice of destinations – from Brussels in Belgium to Katowice and Warsaw-Chopin in Poland, from Almeria in Spain to Vienna in Austria, from Copenhagen in Denmark to Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, Glasgow and London in the United Kingdom.
Coming out of the terminal building, passengers are greeted by a forecourt lined with palm-trees and mountains in the background. The taxi rank is located just outside the terminal, next to the arrivals area. The cost for a 4-seater taxi into Faro city centre is around EUR 9.00 during the hours 6.00 am to 9.00 pm and EUR 10.00 during 9.00 pm and 6.00 am. A 6-seater taxi will cost on average EUR 11.00 and EUR 13.00 during those hours.
The airport has excellent public transport connections via buses that provide a service between Faro’s main EVA bus terminal and the airport. The EVA bus terminal offers passengers access to many bus routes across the Algarve and beyond. Buses start their service at 5.00 am and continue their service until 23.15 pm.
Bus shuttle service can also be booked in advance. This service stops near all the major resorts within a certain distance of the airport. From the city centre passengers also have onward travel options via train. Trains from Faro station do not cross over into Spain, but there is a service connecting Faro with Lisbon, from where passengers can travel into all parts of Portugal and into Spain. There is no train link directly from the airport.
The major motorway and dual carriageway connections from Faro Airport are the aforementioned A22, the EN 125, IC1, N2, N120, N122 International and N431 (Huelva, Spain) / A22 (Via do Infante, Portugal). The most important resorts close to Faro are Vale Do Lobo, Vilamoura, Portimao, Lagos and Quinta Do Lago.
From Faro it takes around 2.5 hours to reach Seville in Spain, a popular choice for many visitors to the Algarve, who want to spend a couple of days at the Spanish Costas during their Portuguese holiday. A trip by hire car to Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, takes around 3 hours.
The Algarve is famous for its wonderful beaches and water sports facilities, but also renown in the international golfing jet set for some truly outstanding golf courses. With a temperate climate all year round and convenient access through The Faro Airport, the Algarve is a perennial favourite with holidaymakers.