Ryanir reneges on the Canary Islands, where 3.2 tourists are tasted per year – La Provincia

Ryanir reneges on the Canary Islands, where 3.2 tourists are tasted per year - La Provincia

Israel overshadows the Canary Islands? The CEO of Ryanair, Michael O'Leary, bets on the Middle East country and ensures that tourists are "fed up" to travel to the Canary Islands despite their company, which has 138 routes with the Archipiago, moves to the Islands to 3.2 million visitors each year.

Are the Canary Islands tourists fed up? Can Israel unseat the archipelago among the preferred destinations of Europe? The controversial CEO ofRyanair, Michael O'Leary, thinks so. The Irish airline this week presented its expansion plans in the country of the Middle East, a market in which it seeks to grow with four new routes between Tel Aviv and Greece (Athens and Thessaloniki), Bulgaria (Sofia) and Romania (Bucharest). The climate, beaches and food are the main charms that, in O'Leary's opinion, make Israel an irresistible attraction pole for European tourists. The Archipelago, for its part, is sure of its strengths and does not fear a hypothetical flow of tourists from the Islands to the Middle East.

With the opening of these new lines, the low cost airline will connect Israel with fifteen European destinations, since Ryanair operates since the last quarter of 2015 in that country, where it also has routes with Eilat, a port and tourist city in the south. Its CEO said this week that "people are fed up with destinations like the Canaries and those places." O'Leary understands that "Israel has wonderful beaches and very good food." "If we can offer reasonable prices, Israel with its climate and beautiful beaches can become a preferred destination, we can bring millions more to Israel, we can grow as fast as the authorities allow," he said.

Despite the ennui that O'Leary points out that causes travel to the archipelago, the data show the opposite. The Canary Islands do not have complexes. The island region has five years of tourist records. At the end of 2018, according to the president of the regional executive Fernando Clavijo at the International Fair oftourism(Fitur), the archipelago received 15.6 million visitors, a figure slightly lower than a year earlier (15.96 million). The security problems of some competing destinations such as Tunisia, Turkey or Egypt explain, to a large extent, the good progress of the tourism sector of the Islands that now faces, precisely, the challenge of resisting the pull that causes the reopening of these markets .

The statements of the CEO of Ryanair come just after the European Pilots Association (ECA) denounced in mid-month that the airlinelow costhas threatened to close its bases in Gran Canaria and Tenerife if cabin crew (TCP) do not sign the collective agreement proposed by the company.

From the airline have not wanted to make any comment on the statements of O'Leary, the repercussions that could have, and the measures planned by the low-cost airline in the Canary facing the future because the company is now in the "closed period"prior to the publication of its results for the third quarter of last year.

The managing director of Promotur, María Méndez, maintains that there is "no concern" for the statements made by the CEO of Ryanair. The Irish airline, according to Méndez, is the first airline in the archipelago. Throughout the year, Ryanair has 138 routes with the Islands and only last year moved 3.2 million passengers to the Canary Islands. The managing director of Promotur maintains that "there is no data" pointing to the fact that Europeans are going to stop coming to the archipelago, that Ryanair has a "very profitable" relationship in the region and that O'Leary's statements are framed in a promotion agreement for the opening of new routes with Israel.

Among the attractions offered by the country of the Middle East highlight the Jewish heritage of Jerusalem; the possibility of leaving Tel Aviv for an excursion to Petra (Jordan), the city of the Nabatean World Heritage; float in the Dead Sea; visit the Ein Gedi National Park and Nature Reserve, or sunbathe on one of its kilometer-long beaches. The country, on the other hand, is located in a convulsive area. Share border withSyria, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, maintains conflicts with the Gaza Strip and also disputes the capital status of Jerusalem with the Palestinians.

Méndez recalls that the opinions of the almost 16 million tourists that visit the archipelago are more significant than that of a single person with interests in expanding their business in Israel. "We do not give it any foundation," he says. And even less because the claims of the Canary Islands, among which security and a benevolent climate stand out, are, according to him, well valued among European tourists.


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