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Canaries want action to stop “unfair and disproportionate” rise in air fares 

Hotel leaders in the Canary Islands are calling for the creation of a “price observatory” to stop air fares soaring.

The campaign is being backed by Ashotel, the hotel employers’ association for Tenerife, La Palma, El Hierro and La Gomera.
The group believes Spain’s Ministry of Development needs to look at the pricing policies of the airlines following an announcement by the State that it will take measures to stop the escalation of air fares. But Ashotel says the 75 per cent discount on ticket prices which Canarian residents can enjoy if flying within the archipelago or to the mainland is not to blame.
 “The problem with these unjustified increases does not lie with the residents,” said Jorge Marichal, president of Ashotel. “It is important that it is understood once and for all that in the Canary Islands, we only have the plane to travel to the peninsula and that the resident grant is no gift but to place ourselves on equal terms with the citizens of the peninsula who have other transport alternatives.”
Ashotel insists that the 75% bonus is an inalienable right for all residents of the Canary Islands but also considers that the methodology on how to apply it must be redefined, claiming the current system favours and stimulates the rise in ticket prices when applying the percentage without restriction in the rate.
For a year and a half, coinciding with the annual Ashotel meeting with the media, the hotel management requested the need to create a price observatory.
“A year and a half later, it seems that the evidence has been imposed and the Ministry has verified what was an open secret and that it is none other than the fact that the 75% bonus is a big business for airlines,” said the president of Ashotel. “What is missing now is to take appropriate measures to prevent these abuses from continuing in a basic and strategic transport service for the islands.”
 Ashotel believes that other types of measures would have to be analysed, such as establishing a fixed bonus amount and not a percentage per ticket.
“In any case, we must listen and incorporate into this debate experts who, from the Canarian universities, are analysing aspects included in this issue and that can raise sustainable solutions and overcome the current problems of the system,” says the group.
On the same subject, the Canary Islands Government is to organise a “summit” on the islands in association with the Balearics, Ceuta and Melilla to propose to the Ministry of Development a common strategy against the increase in the price of air tickets with the peninsula, which in the case of the Canary Islands is up 24% on average.
On routes such as flights to Madrid, the increase has been 30 per cent to Gran Canaria and 25 per cent to Tenerife, and in the case of Barcelona the increase has been 48 and 32 per cent respectively.