New Canaries airline buys first plane and is almost ready to take off
The new Canarian airline being launched by the Tenerife Hoteliers Association, Ashotel, has acquired its first aircraft, an Airbus purchased from Atlantic Airways, as the first step to bringing a continuous flow of tourists to the Islands, one of the main objectives of the association.
Jorge Marichal, president of Ashotel, had stated for more than a year, before the coronavirus crisis came, that a "change in the traditional model" had begun in international tourism, and that tour operators seem "destined to disappear like the dinosaurs did millions of years ago, in favour of a more flexible, faster and cheaper model, which puts the customer back at the centre, who is the one that can organize their vacations with a mobile phone within a world of completely virtual brokerage services."
More than a dozen entrepreneurs from Tenerife have joined a partnership to guarantee air connectivity in the Archipelago, Ashotel is waiting for hoteliers in the province of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to also join the project.
Marichal, who still hasn't released the name of the airline, did assure that the idea is "to bring tourists from anywhere. Anyone who wants to come will have the means to do so."
Likewise, he said that he has also spoken with the Canary Islands Government about this project and announced that he has received full support. "To some extent it is logical that the Government supports an initiative or project that is aimed at promoting air transport and tourism in the Islands," he said.
At the same time he explained that he's not sure if this is a good or bad time for the birth of such a large project, but he assured that “a crisis like this has had to come along, to open our eyes and make us realise that we need to be independent. Many airlines are about to fail. What will we do then if tourists don't come? I think it is time, what's more, I think there is no better time. There are stationary planes that the airlines want to sell, oil is cheap and, we will create jobs because there are a lot of unemployed pilots, flight attendants and ground staff."
The idea is for more and more entrepreneurs to join in, and start flying in the winter.