Portugal has many important international airports but you will find the majority of affordable flights to Portugal arrive and depart from the capital city of Lisbon.
Lisbon Portela Airport, or Lisbon Airport as it is commonly referred to, is serviced by a host of scheduled and charter air carriers. It is located just 7 kms north of Castle of Sao Jorge in the city of Lisbon. The airport is the largest in Portugal and one of the largest in Southern Europe, which makes it an important European air hub. It is interesting to note that during World War II, the airport was of neutral territory and open to both British and German airlines. At that time it was a major centre for smuggling people into, out of and all around Europe. The airport is most famously referenced in the movie Casablanca, which is about an escape attempt to the Lisbon Airport.
The second largest airport in Portugal is located approximately 10 kms northwest of the city center of Porto. Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport, or Porto Airport as it is simply known, recently reached its six millionth passenger mark on December 30, 2011. In a 2007 Airport Service Quality Survey conducted by the Airports Council International, the airport was ranked number one in Europe for service. The airport is connected to the urban areas of Porto through the Porto Metro.
Other airports of significance in Portugal include Madeira Airport (most commonly referred to as Funchal Airport) in Santa Catarina in Santa Cruz near Funchal, Madeira, Portugal and Joao Paulo II Airport on the island of San Miguel, near the city of Ponta Delgada in the Portuguese islands of the Azores.
Scheduled airlines such as TAP Portugal, the country’s national carrier, and British Airways offer flights to all over Portugal year round. Whereas charter airlines such as Air Transat Vacations and Sunwing Vacations only operate during tourist season, which is typically May to September. The charter airlines routinely provide the most affordable flights to Portugal but you will need to be flexible with your departure and return dates, as they do not fly every day of the week. Charter airlines also do not service every airport in the country, but rather just the most popular tourist areas. Sunwing Vacations offers direct flights to both Lisbon and Porto, while Air Transat Vacations provides flights that operate into the cities of Faro, Lisbon and Porto.
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