For the first rotations of the new direct operation between Madeira and the United States of America, occupancy rates are expected to be around 80%. According to Luís Nunes, executive director of Inovtravel, the tour operator responsible for the operation, the first flight is the one with the lowest booking volume, with around 100 passengers, but the following ones have “much better occupancy”.
Therefore, “expectations are very high” for the new direct operation that links Madeira to New York, with Luís Nunes saying that “it has everything to go right”. Forecasts are difficult, with last-minute bookings becoming more and more common. The focus now, according to the person responsible for Inovtravel, is to promote Madeira in the American market.
Packages to Madeira start at around one thousand dollars per person, in a 5-star Pestana hotel, with other Pestana and Savoy options at higher prices. “The objective is to get the reserves with values worthy of what the Americans can afford”, he reveals.
The objective of making the new direct operation profitable is more focused on the American customer, even so there is some demand from Madeirans, especially during New Year’s Eve. For Madeirans, the trip package starts at 1,200 euros, per person with seven nights’ stay at Pestana hotels, in the centre of Manhattan, New York.
The direct Funchal-New York JFK operation opens tomorrow, November 29, with the last of the 17 rotations of this batch to be made on March 21, 2022. Sata Azores Airlines direct flights take place on Mondays and have the duration of six hours. During the summer, the flight starts to be made through Ponta Delgada, returning direct, “probably”, in November of the next year.