Hoteliers in Tenerife plan to start their own airline to ensure a continuous flow of holidaymakers to the Canary Islands following the Covid-19 pandemic.
An Airbus A320 family aircraft has reportedly been acquired from Faroe Islands carrier Atlantic Airways with flights due to begin in the winter.
More than a dozen entrepreneurs from Tenerife have joined a partnership to guarantee air connectivity in the archipelago.
The Tenerife Hoteliers Association Ashotel is waiting for counterparts in the province of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to also join the project backing the unnamed start-up carrier.
Association president Jorge Marichal told the local CanarianWeekly news service that the idea is “to bring tourists from anywhere. Anyone who wants to come will have the means to do so”.
The Canary Islands government has given its backing to the project.
“To some extent it is logical that the government supports an initiative or project that is aimed at promoting air transport and tourism in the Islands,” Marichal added.
“A crisis like this has had to come along, to open our eyes and make us realise that we need to be independent.
“Many airlines are about to fail. What will we do then if tourists don’t come?
“I think it is time, what’s more, I think there is no better time. There are stationary planes that the airlines want to sell, oil is cheap and, we will create jobs because there are a lot of unemployed pilots, flight attendants and ground staff.”
Marichal said before the coronavirus crisis that a “change in the traditional model” had begun in international tourism, and that tour operators seem “destined to disappear like the dinosaurs did millions of years ago, in favour of a more flexible, faster and cheaper model, which puts the customer back at the centre, who is the one that can organise their vacations with a mobile phone within a world of completely virtual brokerage services”.