Tenerife welcomes EU aid for air connectivity
Tenerife Cabildo expects financial aid announced by the European Union will help the island with its connectivity plans and lower airport rates.
The EC finance will help companies wanting to establish new routes and will give a boost to new connections with the African continent. This in turn, said Cabildo president Carlos Alonso, will open up new opportunities.
Sr. Alonso congratulated the Canary Government for this achievement and said it would reinforce the work being carried out by the Cabildo and the tourism industry.
The Cabildo president said they were working hard to provide new connections with the African continent as was visible with Morocco and Senegal. However, they were also working with other countries such as Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Equatorial Guinea to reach Tenerife which aimed to become the hub of West Africa.
Sr. Alonso said it was imperative to improve connectivity and open up new markets if the Canaries were to remain leaders in the tourism industry. They had closed 2013 with over six million visitors and continued to work to improve on this.
Last week, the chief executive officer of Tourism of Tenerife, Miguel Ángel Santos had taken part in the Routes Europe 2014 conference in Marseille where interest had been shown by airlines in opening new routes between Tenerife and Europe and Africa.
In the last year and a half, the Cabildo through Tourism of Tenerife has contributed directly to the creation of 37 new direct routes from major leading companies such as Norwegian, British Airways, Aeroflot, SAS and Royal Air Morac.
In addition to this, the island has two new bases for Norwegian and Vueling, offering more than a million additional seats.
The Cabildo is also working on the traditional markets and to capture more business class seats to appeal to the high-end market. It also wants to open up new routes, such as to countries in the East or to the United States.
All this work has been recognised with the Routes accolade which credits Tenerife as the second best destination in the world and the best in Europe for attracting new airlines.
State aid to the tune of around ten million euros is expected to be a big boost to making connections more attractive. The Cabildo has always maintained that reduced rates were needed as the charge was regarded as a tax. When lower, it would encourage economic activity, consumption and eventually, jobs.
Sr. Alonso had joined in the discussions with the Director General of Transport for the UE which finally resulted in the EU decision with important benefits for the islands.