€5 Million Available To Canary Islands Airlines To Boost Demand

The local government in Spain’s Canary Islands is offering a €5million incentive to airlines in the hope of reviving the Island’s tourism industry from the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsidies are being made to airlines to help the eight main islands attract more visitors as the aviation industry recovers from the global medical emergency.

TUI Boeing 737 MAX
The Canary Islands are offering airlines money to lay on more flights. Photo: TUI

The aid will be made available to any airline that operates flights to the Canary Islands from mainland Spain, the European Union, United Kingdom, or any other nation. When making the announcement on October 6, 2021, the Canary Islands government said that airlines had 15 business days to apply for the aid, which is available for flights arriving before the end of this year.

The maximum an airline can receive is €600,000

The subsidy will be calculated based on a per passenger seat basis with up to €6 per seat available for international flights and €3 per seat for domestic flights originating in Spain. Within the framework that has been laid out, the maximum amount of money an airline can receive is €600,000. When speaking about the incentive for airlines, Travel Weekly quotes Canary Islands tourism, industry, and commerce minister Yaiza Castilla as saying:

“After the outbreak of the pandemic, the return to normality hasn’t been easy as a result of travel restrictions.

“The airline companies face a difficult financial situation thanks to a lack of activity, so it is to be expected that their focus will now move to the most profitable routes.

“For this reason, Canary Islands Tourism is prioritizing a system of aid that compensates for the archipelago’s disadvantages in attracting air traffic, and that helps increase access for national and international visitors.”

About the Canary Islands

Situated in the Atlantic Ocean 100 kilometers (62 miles) west of Morocco, the Canary Islands are the southernmost of the autonomous communities of Spain. Economically and politically, the Canary Islands are a part of the European Union. The Canary Islands archipelago consists of eight main islands El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, La Graciosa, Lanzarote, La Palma, and Tenerife.

Binter Canarias ATR 72 Turboprop Airplane
Binter Canarias offers inter-island flights in the Canary Islands. Photo: Getty Images

Concentrated mainly on the two main islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife, the Canary Islands have around 2.1 million people. The Island’s main tourist centers are Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote, which attracted before COVID-19 around 12 million visitors a year.

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What is the Canary Islands’ appeal?

Having been created by volcanic eruptions, as is evident in the Cumbre Vieja volcano eruption on the Island of La Palma, the Canary Islands depend heavily on tourism. With long hot summers and moderate, mild winters, the Canary Islands and its beaches have long been popular with northern Europeans looking for winter sunshine.

Iberia Airbus A319
Airlines can get €3 per passenger on domestic flights. Photo: Iberia

Besides the temperate climate, the Canary Islands also have many natural attractions for tourists, such as the dunes at Maspalomas and Mount Teide 3,718 m (12,198 ft)), the highest mountain in Spain and the third highest volcano in the world.

As we already mentioned, tourism is essential to the Canary Islands, and as we move into the fall, the subsidies may entice airlines to lay on more flights to the Canary Islands.

What do you think about the Canary Islands incentive to airlines? Please tell us what you think in the comments.