Ever since the first sea planes operated between Southampton and Funchal in 1949 and landed in the bay, a lot has changed.
Nowadays there are great direct flights to Madeira from the UK and other parts of the world. From the UK the flight time is just under 4 hours. There is a new international airport on Madeira and another one on nearby Porto Santo island.
Getting to Madeira
FROM THE UK: There are several airlines; Jet2, Easyjet, Thomson and British Airways that fly direct from Gatwick and other regional airports to Funchal in Madeira. FROM THE USA AND CANADA: There is a direct service with SATA Air Azores from Boston. If you're flying from Toronto with SATA Air Azores, you will have to change in Lisbon and there will be several connecting flights a day to Funchal on either SATA Air Azores or other airlines. FROM LISBON: There are daily flights from Lisbon with TAP Air Portugal, SATA Air Azores and Easyjet to Funchal with connections from many major cities around the world. FROM THE REST OF EUROPE: There are direct flights to Madeira on a number of airlines from Reykjavik, Bergen, Helsinki, Stockholm, Aarhus, Berlin, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Basel, Bucharest, Toulouse, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, Porto and Faro.