News that Binter has decided to cancel Wednesday flights between Praia and Maio has been met with anger by owners of tourist facilities and accommodation on the island. Visitors have started cancelling their visits to the island because once there is no Wednesday flight, there will only be two flights a week. The complaints are not just on the proposed cancellation of the Wednesday flight, but also on the constant changing of flight times by Binter cv.
Maio does not have a large tourist industry, but people who visit the island love it. There were signs that tourism was increasing, especially during winter months. Some hotel operators are now saying that they will have to close down. It is not only the tourists who suffer, but also the population of the island. It is difficult to do business if you rely on travel to or from Praia. If hotels and guest houses are forced to close, people will loose their jobs.
Binter had suspended the Wednesday flight during the summer, but had advertised that it would return on 30 October. That flight has recently been cancelled. This has caused significant problems to people who had already booked international flights based on there being a Wednesday connection to/from Maio. The problem is exacerbated at the present time when ferry services are disrupted. The regular ferry Sotovento, is out of service and the ferry schedules (now published by CV Inter-Ilhas) have not been published beyond the end of September. All of this uncertainty makes it almost impossible for visitors to plan their holiday.
People involved in tourism on Maio have appealed to the Câmara and to the Prime Minister to intervene. It is hoped that they can persuade Binter to reinstate these Wednesday flights. October sees the start of the peak tourism season, so it is the worst possible time for Binter to remove one of only three weekly flights.
Maio has a great future, providing a lovely location for quiet peaceful holidays, especially for people escaping the rat race. Maio was offering small scale sustainable tourism. That offering and its future is now in significant danger.