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Faro airport, the gateway to the Algarve for many international visitors, has celebrated breaking the 8 million passenger mark, making 2017 a record breaking year for the Algarve airport.

The president of the Algarve tourism board, Desidério Silva said that the record number of passengers using the airport during 2017 represented a “fantastic number” but stated that now it was important to work to “maintain the trend” already set, according to a report by the Algarve regional newspaper Sul Informação.

In a statement Desidério Silva said: “When I arrived to the tourism board in 2012, airport passenger numbers were in the region of 5 million.  Over the past five years, the airport has grown significantly, and last October the number of passengers exceeded the month of August 2015.

“The passenger numbers are a clear indication of the evolution of the airport and the evolution of air transport in the Algarve thanks to an increase in the number of routes serving the Algarve and the frequency of flights.”

It has been a tumultuous year for airlines with the closure of Monarch and Air Berlin and the cancellation of flights by Ryanair, however none of these factors appear to have affected the success of Faro airport.  Desidério Silva also believes that the closure of certain airlines that used to use Faro airport will not mean that similar passenger numbers are impossible for 2018.

The success of Faro airport, according to Desidério Silva, is down largely to the increase I low season flights.  The tourism board has been actively working to promote the Algarve as a destination for throughout the year with initiatives including a packed winter events programme.

The airport saw an increase in passengers by 20% in the months up until May, demonstrating the increase in popularity of the Algarve during the winter months.

The importance of passenger numbers at Faro airport was highlighted by Desidério Silva: “The more passengers at the airport means a higher occupancy level in the region and an increase in revenue as the airport is the primary point of entry to the Algarve for tourists”.

With an increase in the number of flights to new destinations across Europe, the future of Faro airport, which recently benefited from major renovations, looks to be a bright one.