Canary Islands subsidises the arrival of European tourists to La Palma

by Lorraine Williamson
La Palma

LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA – In ten “strategic” markets in Europe, airlines will be subsidised by the government of the Canary Islands to operate flights to the island of La Palma hit 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 to increase the international air connectivity of La Palma, also known as “Isla Bonita”. 

The government indicates that these funds will provide financial grants to airlines starting to operate on any of the 18 international routes included in the call. Furthermore, these routes are aimed at tourist connections with ten “strategic” markets. These are;

  • Austria
  • The Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • The UK

A promotional campaign among airlines will also be organised. Moreover, from October, the benefits of this fund will be presented at various tourism fairs. 

Conditions for subsidy 

One of the conditions for eligibility for these subsidies is that the route must be direct, without intermediate stops. Furthermore, it must be maintained for at least two years (or two consecutive seasons, winter or summer). And there must be 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. 

Cogesa Expats

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 aeroplane seats to increase by 7% in winter compared to the previous season. 

Key mentions include that Luxair will launch a route from Luxembourg and 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). 

Extension of tourist vouchers 

In addition, the Council of Tourism of the Canary Islands indicated that it has decided together with the Council of La Palma to extend the “Bono Turístico La Palma” and expand the offer in 2024. Moreover, this involves the raffle of approximately 1,000 vouchers that have not yet been activated. Out of a total of €2 million divided into 8,000 vouchers, approximately €500,000 have been used so far. 

Also read: Canary Islands see hiking tourism grow

You may also like