In ten “strategic” markets in Europe, Airlines will be subsidized by the Government of The Canary Islands to operate flights to the island of La Palma affected by the volcanic eruption.
The Tourism Department of the Autonomous Government of The Canary Islands announced on Thursday that it will allocate 1.3 million euros to increase the international air connectivity of La Palma, also known as “Isla Bonita”.
The government indicates that these funds will be used to provide financial subsidies to airlines that begin operating on one of the 18 international routes included in the call. These routes focus on tourist connections with ten “strategic” markets: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. A promotional campaign among airlines will also be organized. “From October, the benefits of this fund will be presented at various tourism fairs,” it sounds.
One of the conditions to qualify for these grants is that the route must be direct, without stops, and maintained for at least two years (or two consecutive seasons, winter or summer) with at least one flight per week. Once approved, airlines will have up to 78 weeks to activate the route, which will provide a total capacity of 9,360 seats per year.
This initiative aims to boost La Palma’s international connectivity, which has been significantly reduced following recent volcanic eruptions. Despite the challenges, the regional government expects the number of available aircraft seats to increase by 7% over the previous season in winter.
Important mentions include that Luxair will start a route from Luxembourg and that easyJet will reactivate its flight from Berlin. In terms of air capacity, Condor, one of the main airlines on the island, will increase its capacity by 40% on four winter routes from Germany (Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich).
In addition, The Canary Islands Tourism Board indicated that it has decided, together with the La Palma Council, to extend the “Bono Turístico La Palma” and expand the offer in 2024. This involves the raffle of around 1,000 vouchers that have not yet been activated. Out of the total of 2 million euros divided into 8,000 receipts, around 500,000 euros have been used so far.