June 24, 2021

The islands, Ceuta and Melilla seek to stop the escalation of air tickets



The governments of the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Ceuta and Melilla will try to agree in the next 48 hours proposals that allow to put a ceiling on the price of air and sea transport in their connections with the Peninsula and that exempt them in the future of possible taxes to kerosene.

The Presidents of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres; Balearic Islands, Francina Armengol; and Melilla, Eduardo de Castro; and the general director of the Promotion of Ceuta, Bharat Bhagwandas, have agreed at the beginning of the meeting that they have held since Tuesday in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in their desire to consolidate the 75% subsidy for resident tickets granted by the State.

However, they also stress that it is necessary to articulate formulas, such as public service obligations, so that the price increase does not divert aid to the airlines that was intended to favor the mobility of their fellow citizens.

At the beginning of the forum, Torres has put figures to the problem: according to data collected by the Ministry of Transportation, in the first seven months of 2019 the prices of air tickets between the Peninsula and the Canary Islands rose an average of 25 percent, which cancels de facto the rise of the state subsidy from 50 to 75%, and in some routes and days the rates shot up 48%.

The objective of the conference, said the president of the Canary Islands, is “to share experiences and put on the table proposals, debates and solutions that improve our relationship with the Peninsula.”

From this summit, in which experts, social, economic and business agents participate, in addition to the cabildos and other public representatives, an institutional declaration will be made public throughout tomorrow, Wednesday.

“The will is none other than to debate situations to which we must find a solution and improve, once the historical milestone of 75% has been achieved, which must be preserved,” said the Canarian president, who has insisted on the difficulty of connectivity aerial in the extrapeninsular territories.

The president of the Balearic Islands, Francina Armengol, has remarked that the four extra-peninsular territories live “a similar reality”, as their citizens have to “catch a ship or a plane, not a train” for many everyday issues, and “that makes life more expensive , makes our products and our companies more expensive “.

Armengol stressed that “there is evidence that many airlines” have increased the prices of air tickets between the islands and the Peninsula since the resident’s discount rose from 50 to 75 percent, something that does not happen in the tickets between islands, as they are considered public service.

Therefore, the possibility that the declaration of public service obligation is extended to transport between the Peninsula and the islands, something that requires the authorization of the European Union and that they are “willing to fight.”

The president of the Autonomous City of Melilla, Eduardo de Castro, has insisted on the difficulties faced by citizens who do not live on the Peninsula in transport and has requested that the principle of equity be guaranteed with the rest of Spaniards.

He also stressed that the airlines receive money from the State for the tickets of the residents of the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Ceuta and Melilla, but finally those funds do not benefit the citizens to the extent expected.

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