How to get to the Cape Verde islands by air?
The ten islands that constitute of the Republic of Cape Verde are situated more than 500 kilometres off the West Coast of Africa. This means that these sunny and warm islands can only be reached by water or by air. Most of the islands in the Cabo Verde archipelago have a domestic airport (those on the small islands of Brava, Fogo and Santo Antao have been closed in recent years). Four Cape Verdean islands host an international airport, which means that the Republic of Cape Verde can easily be reached by air.
The international airports of Cape Verde
Four Cape Verdean islands have an international airport:
- Santiago: Nelson Mandela Airport (RAI), also known as Praia International Airport, is situated on the largest island of the Cape Verde archipelago. Santiago is part of the southern group of Cape Verde islands called the Satovento Islands. The international airport on the island was opened in 2005 and is situated approximately three kilometres outside the island's and country's capital Praia
- Sal: the small northern island of Sal hosts the largest international airport of Cape Verde, called Amílcar Cabral (SID) or Sal International Aiport. The airport was opened in 1939. It has one terminal building and two runways. The main runway is the longest in the archipelago. Amílcar Cabral International Airport is located along the road that links the island's capital Espargos to the tourist hotspot of Santa Maria
- Boavista: the most eastern islands of the Cape Verde archipelago hosts the Rabil International Airport (BVC). It was opened in 2007 and in 2011 renamed as Aristides Pereira International Airport. It is located five kilometers off the island capital of Sal Rei
- Sao Vicente: the international airport of Sao Vicente (Saint Vincent) is called Cesária Évora Airport. It was opened as an international airport in 2009, after the existing domestic airport was modernised and upgraded
The national airline of Cape Verde
The official name of the international Cape Verdean airline is TACV Cabo Verde Airlines. TACV is Portuguese for 'Air Transportation of Cape Verde'. This passenger and cargo airline was established in 1959 and is based in Praia on the island of Santiago. It has a fleet of five aircrafts (one ATR 42, three ATR 72 and one Boeing 757-200) with an average age of eleven years. TACV serves both scheduled and charter flights, and also serves all ground handling on the airports of the Cape Verde islands. The airline regularly flies to and from Brasil (Fortaleza, Recife), France (Paris), Guinea-Bissau (Bissau), Portugal (Lisbon), Senegal (Dakar), and the United States (Providence).
How to get to and from the Republic of Cape Verde
Apart from the international connections from TACV connections, there are many flight options to get one of the Cape Verde islands:
- Santiago (Nelson Mandela Airport): the main island of the country is well-connected to the rest of the world. Most of these international flights are done by TACV. TAP also directly flies to and from Lisbon to Santiago
- Sal (Amílcar Cabral Airport): the main airport of the country has a vast amount of international connections. Among these are flights of TACV from Madrid, TAP from Lisbon, TUIfly from Amsterdam, and Thomson Airways from London and Birmingham. Also there are many international flights landing in Boavista first and proceeding to Sal afterwards
- Boavista (Aristedes Pereira Airport): Boavista international airport receives airlines from different European countries, such as the United Kingdom (Thomson Airways from London and Birmingham), Switzerland (TUIfly from Basel), Belgium (TUIfly from Brussels), Italy (Neos from Bologna, Milan and Naples) and Germany (TUIfly from Hannover and Munich)
- Sao Vicente (Cesária Évora Airport): international connections from Amsterdam (TUI, Corendon) and France (SmartLynx) to Sao Vicente are seasonal. TAP flies all year round from and to Lisbon (Portugal). You can use Lisbon as a hub to fly to Sao Vicente