TUI flight occupancies are less than 20% after two weeks of operation

2020/10/17 10:40:32 Written by Canarian Weekly Business

Germany's recommendation not to travel to the islands, which could be cancelled at the end of next week if the Canary Islands keep their infection rate down, continues to weigh on disciplined German tourists. Despite the ‘desire and demand’ to travel to the Canary Islands and have connectivity, thanks to the risky initiative of the tour operator TUI, which on October 3rd resumed operations with the islands in defiance of the German government, tourists continue to be discouraged.

Two weeks after TUI returned to operating between Germany and the Canary Islands, the flights continue with very low occupancies that are below 20%. The tour operator plans to maintain the flights with the hope that in the coming week the German Government may lift the restrictions on the Canary Islands, whose epidemiological data are within the ratios that the German Robert Koch Institute, considered optimal for not being considered a risk area.

Germany lifts travel restrictions on countries or regions with a level of infection lower than 50 per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days. The Canary Islands are today at 35.85 and 77.3 cases diagnosed in 14 days, against the national averages of 133 and 280, respectively.

On Thursday, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) released the first European map of Covid-19 and the Canary Islands appeared in red because it was made based on data from previous days. In the next update, if the favourable evolution continues, it is expected that the islands will appear in orange and that Germany will remove the Canary Islands from its black list. If they do, German passengers who return to their country will be exempted from the quarantine that stops most tourists.

Close sources indicate that it is expected that next week there will also be news regarding the tourist corridors that the Government of Spain is negotiating with different destinations, such as the United Kingdom.

This week the Minister of Tourism, Reyes Maroto, acknowledged that Spain had arrived late to the negotiations while the Associations of Businessmen demanded that "not one more minute be lost” and that they act act now. In just fifteen days the winter tourist season will start on the islands and for now, the prospects are very cold.

In this sense, the president of the Canarian Vacation Rental Association (Ascav) and the Canary Islands Tourism Circle, Doris Borrego, who in an open letter sent to the minister, reproaches her for the fact that from Madrid "nothing has been done for the tourism of the islands.” He said: “Thousands of companies and freelancers are heading for closure. Thousands of Canarians are doomed to suffer more poverty and precariousness and that has only just begun, as the worst is yet to come. The worst thing is that you from the Government know it.”

Borrego invited Maroto to visit the tourist areas of the totally "desert" islands and asks her to take action. "The islands will not endure this situation for more than a few weeks," he says.