The Canary Islands mourn the loss of a "visionary" and a race businessman who never gave up

The Canary Islands mourn the loss of a "visionary" and a race businessman who never gave up

Antonio Armas, at the opening ceremony of the La Luz passenger terminal in January 2020, explaining the project to the authorities. / COVER

Through hard work, sacrifice, effort and unusual emotional intelligence for business, Antonio Armas managed to make the leap to Europe from the island of Lanzarote and become one of the main shipping companies on the continent. He united the Canary Islands through the sea and promoted their development

Silvia Fernandez

The political and business world mourned this Tuesday the death of Antonio Armas, whom everyone defined as an affable businessman, with a dialogic spirit and above all, a fighter. A visionary who, by dint of work, sacrifice, effort and an unusual emotional intelligence for business, managed from the small island of Lanzarote to make the leap to Europe and become one of the main shipping companies on the continent.

He was also a man with a good humor and sarcasm, who always had anecdotes to tell about his more than 50 years at the helm of the Canarian shipping company. The president of the Domingo Alonso Group lamented the departure of a "very great man" to whom the Canary Islands owes a lot for having united everyone through the sea. «Whenever I went to a meal I tried to approach him because it was a charm to sit with him. He was very nice and always had stories to tell. It's a shame because many greats who have contributed to making the Canary Islands great are leaving, like Lizardo Martel », he indicates.

Today, as other businessmen warned, the Canary Islands would not be the same without Antonio Armas and that ability to push forward in adversity and open new roads and new routes to connect the islands with each other, the peninsula, the European continent and even Africa. «
He kept fighting and working for his company as if he had started with it yesterday. He was a person with a lot of strength, a lot of creativity, effort, sacrifice and tremendous generosity », indicated Agustín Manrique de Lara, president of the CCE and of the Círculo de Empresarios, to which Antonio Armas belonged.

"He made the world of Canarian business great and leaves a tremendous legacy," says Manrique, who points out that he is an example for other Canarian businessmen by having made the leap to Europe "from a few small islands."

The president of Astican, Germán Suárez, was dismayed by the news. «A brilliant man has left us, a businessman of race and with an emotional intelligence that few have and that is not learned. with her you are born», indicated. Suárez recalled that whenever he called him – since his father, Germán Suárez, died in 2019, very often – he joked with him and told him “that whatever they were going to talk about was going to cost him money.” "He was very smart and knew how to negotiate like nobody else," says the president of Astican, who cites the purchase of Trasmediterránea as an example.
"He bought the Iberia of the seas and he was a Canarian!"

From the Port Authority, its president, Luis Ibarra, was visibly moved. «No matter how many problems he had, he always transferred a joke. He was vital and very fighter», points out Ibarra, who points out that Antonio Armas «always said things to the face and in the same way that he talked about the problems, he provided solutions». Ibarra highlighted the facilities that Armas provided to reach an understanding. Thanks to her, precisely, the first private investment passenger terminal in a Spanish port was possible, which was built by Armas in La Luz.
«The port loses but the Canary Islands lose more. He carried island connectivity in his veins. He was a forerunner », says Ibarra.

The president of Oneport, José Mayor, highlights his "courage, his ability to fight and his work". "He broke the mold," says Mayor, who assures that Armas "risked" and the other businessmen were behind. “He pulled a lot of the land from him. He took risks and put the lines and routes and this made the rest and the entire Canary Islands grow. A great loss », he says.

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