Requests for reimbursement of the air transport allowance to/from and between the Azores and Madeira may now be made online

ANACOM has organised a meeting this week with several entities to find solutions which will speed up reimbursement payments of the social mobility allowance for the air transport of passengers between Mainland Portugal, the Azores and Madeira and between the Azores and Madeira. The solution may entail creating an online platform for applications for the allowance, since the meeting’s various participants converged on this option.

The meeting, which was attended by the Secretary of State for Infrastructure, the Regional Governments of the Azores and of Madeira, IGF - Inspeção-Geral de Finanças (Inspectorate-General of Finance), ANACOM and CTT, came to the conclusion that the Internet is the means which best serves this purpose; beneficiaries who so wish may send all the necessary information and scanned documents electronically, and will no longer have to visit CTT outlets.

A number of actions have also been agreed so that this transformation can be carried out as quickly as possible, on the one hand, making the process easier for citizens covered by the scheme and, on the other, improving the quality of customer services at postal outlets, which is burdened by the processing of these payments.

Currently, to be granted the social mobility allowance, beneficiaries have to apply for reimbursement at CTT outlets and present the required documents in person.

The procedure for payment of the social mobility allowance is therefore dependent on the physical outlets of CTT where it can be paid; this means people have to visit these outlets, with an impact on customer waiting times at postal establishments, inconveniencing both the recipients of this allowance and other users of CTT post offices, and affecting the quality of the universal postal service provided by CTT.

The current procedure involves significant front-office manual activity: completing a series of data fields and validating documents, including the applicant's Citizen Card, invoice and travel receipt, calculating taxes and fares, and the boarding pass. This procedure impacts waiting times at CTT post offices and undermines the efficient provision of customer service to the public.

Representatives from the entities present at the meeting.

João Cadete de Matos (Chairman), João Miguel Coelho (Vice-Chairman), Luis Manica Director of Market Regulation), Agostinho Franco (Coordinator of the Postal Services Unit), Nelson Melim (Head of ANACOM Agency in Madeira) and Luis Anselmo (Head of ANACOM Agency in Azores), from ANACOM; António Pedro Silva (Director) and Lurdes Além (Director), from CTT - Correios de Portugal; Goretti Gouveia (Head of Aerial Transport Department) from the Regional Government of the Azores; Pedro Calado (Vice-Chairman), Patrícia Dantas (Assistant Director of the Economy) and Luis Nuno Olim (Office Head), from the Regional Government of Madeira; Filomena Bacelar (Director) and António José Farinha Simão (Team leader), from IGF - Auditing Authority; Ana Marques (Assistant), the Secretary of State for Infrastructure.