"It was proposed to the Government [...] that the connection to Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport be brought forward", Carlos Fernandes said.

The vice president of IP was speaking at the Portugal Railway Summit 2022, which takes place at the Porto de Leixões cruise terminal, in Matosinhos, in the Porto district.

The proposal is related to the possible availability of funds from the postponement of investments in the connection to the Oriente station, in Lisbon.

"Two phases were planned, IP proposed to the Government the constitution of a third phase", which corresponds to the Carregado - Lisbon section, so that this "is delayed, probably, to after 2040".

According to Carlos Fernandes, the two or three minutes of travel lost with the failure to carry out this work to Lisbon made it possible to allocate funds for the connection to Francisco Sá Carneiro airport, in Maia, which serves Porto, the North of the country and Galicia.

The high-speed rail project is expected to be completed by 2030, with the first phase corresponding to the Porto - Soure (Coimbra) section, with works between 2026 and 2028.

The airport was initially planned in the second phase, involving the connection to Vigo, but it is now IP's intention to bring this forward.