Huge tourism boost as Canary Islands launches its own airline
A group of hotel entrepreneurs from Tenerife together with One Airways have made a reality of the creation of a new airline with fully Canarian capital that, initially, will link Tenerife with the mainland and some parts of Europe with a differentiated product under the name Canarian Airways .
The project, in addition, given its strategic importance, will have the support of the Cabildo de Tenerife, which has shown interest in participating in this private initiative, as revealed during the presentation of the brand, which took place at the insular institution. Those present included the president of the airline and Ashotel, Jorge Marichal; the member of the Board of Directors, CEO of the company and founder and CEO of One Airways, Óscar Trujillo; the president of the Cabildo de Tenerife, Pedro Martín; the Minister of Tourism of the Insular Institution, José Gregorio Martín Plata; and the councillor and spokesperson for Sí Podemos Canarias, María José Belda. Jorge Marichal showed his satisfaction with the presentation of the new brand. “We are very happy because this idea that has been forged for years is now a reality, not only as a business idea, but also as a philosophical one, because a greater social connection is beneficial,” he said. As explained by the company representatives, “a crucial initiative for the destination is launched that will allow the vertical integration of the business, that it is the island’s tourism sector that drives the activity and does not depend only on third parties to attract tourists “.
“We are at a time when it is more necessary than ever for us to be independent and to begin to influence the value chain globally from the moment the client decides to travel until he returns home,” Jorge Marichal remarked. In recent years, the bankruptcy of airlines and tour operators such as Thomas Cook have revealed the fragility of a sector highly dependent on tour operators, hence the importance of Canarian Airways as an airline that “is going to provide the Canaries with its own intercontinental aeronautical engine linked to the tourism sector “, in the words of the company’s CEO.
“Above all, in a context such as the current one with low minimum air connectivity and a situation that can worsen but that, nevertheless, is an opportunity to undertake a project in which we have been working for years,” he added. Óscar Trujillo has also highlighted the opportunity that a company of these characteristics represents for the Canary Islands, for the sustainability of the sector and economic and social development, given the options it offers not only from the tourist point of view but as an axis of technological innovation in the aeronautical sector.
The president of the Cabildo de Tenerife, Pedro Martín, has valued this initiative born of the island business community, linked not only to his company but also to the destination. “And the Cabildo de Tenerife could not be oblivious. And it was important to provide solidity to put this project in motion to help raise rates at reasonable prices “. María José Belda, stated that “with this proposal we are promoting a better connection of all the Canaries with the peninsula, a purpose in accordance with the spirit of the connectivity aid that offers Europe for outermost regions “. As explained by Jorge Marichal, the business initiative is made up of a total of 14 tourism entrepreneurs from Tenerife, the aeronautics One Airways and the Hotel and Extra-hotel Association of Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro (Ashotel), the latter with a minority contribution on behalf of all associates. Together they have formed Latitud Hub as the parent entity that has made possible the birth of the Canarian Airways trademark. One Airways, a company with 100% Canarian capital, will also be the air operator of the project, as it has international certifications to carry out air operations and launch commercial flights, and extensive experience in management, operation and maintenance of aircraft, as well as in the analysis, operation and opening of short, medium and long-haul routes around the world. Both Jorge Marichal and Óscar Trujillo have wanted to make it clear that Canarian Airways is an airline “that comes to add, to complement the existing offer, so that the people who choose it will have a differentiated product and experience”.
“Today, the ways to travel are endless and there is a new way of understanding air transport, a new demand also marked by the current context and by new customs “, they stressed. Canarian Airways will bring customers to hotels through a single flight, without the need for changes or discomfort associated with the flying experience. The format that will be offered will be a flight package plus a hotel with a concept based on the fact that rest, enjoyment and tranquility start from the flight. There will also be the possibility of a single trip that will also be associated with a value offer that other companies do not have. The roadmap indicates March of this year as the start of commercialisation and June for the beginning of operations with the intention, according to the established plan, of flying up to four cities on the peninsula and three European cities.
The aircraft will be an Airbus A319 with capacity for 144 passengers out of 160 possible, as it will be configured with fewer rows of seats than traditional companies, which will allow a significant increase in interior space. The aircraft is of recent construction and with important security, navigation and technology elements according to current times, and will allow high precision operations in all European airports and operate on oceanic routes of the North Atlantic to connect countries such as Iceland, the United Kingdom or Ireland with direct flights to the Canary Islands. It will be a company oriented to the customer, to sustainability, with a comfortable configuration of the aircraft and the associated offer. Regarding the brand image, Óscar Trujillo explained that it sums up what the island’s tourism sector is, “a unique destination”. He reflects the characteristic blue of the sea and the shape of the waves, the breeze, the essence of the destination and its evolution in terms of modernity and differentiation. “Canarian Airways integrates the credibility, quality and exclusivity of the destination with the customer above all else.” One of the issues that the company will have the most impact on will also be safety, both for customers and staff. The director of operational safety, Manuel Chamorro, has highlighted One Airways’ experience in this field as a differentiating element of the new airline.
In addition, both active and passive health security measures will be increased and the flight will be configured in such a way that the customer feels that care at all times. From a security point of view, Canarian Airways is structured around four points, which differentiates it from the vast majority of operators: compliance above the regulatory minimum, the implementation of proactive and predictive security measures, selection and training very demanding of crews; and the implementation of technological tools for analysis and prediction (FDM, BI, etc.).