Airlines and tour operators reduce flights due to Canary Islands restrictions
A large part of the tourism industry on the islands is described as being in a "critical situation" after the UK removed the Canary Islands from the green list of safe destinations, and Germany has established a strict confinement in their country, that makes it practically unviable for trips to the islands.
In addition to this, as the infections in the archipelago are evolving, with and incidence rate of 61.95 yesterday over the last seven days, everything indicates that soon Germany will put the archipelago back on its blacklist after exceeding 50 cases that the Robert Koch Institute sets as a travel limit.
The closure of these two countries, key to tourism on the islands, which is embedded within a strategy of almost generalized withdrawal throughout Europe (new measures are expected in France and Italy, among others), and an expected ‘third wave’ expected globally because of Christmas, has led to airlines and tour operators to analyze their flight plans this week, and cut routes and beds with the islands due to forecasts of a "dire" occupation over the Christmas holidays.
Tourist expectations for the archipelago are very bad for the rest of this month, according to different sources, the Canary Islands was expected to reach 1.4 million tourists in December but after these changes, it will only reach around 200,000. The figures speak for themselves and will force hoteliers this week to make drastic decisions to close their resorts as well.
Several hotel chains said yesterday that it is the ‘high uncertainty’ which hinders decision-making, and did not hide that they were analyzing the closure of some of their complexes that they have open today in light of the situation. December and the Christmas campaign were planned for many businesses as a reason to continue. Without tourists this month, the situation is very delicate for many resorts on the islands that no longer have the financial capacity to move forward.
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The fact that tourism in the islands is not reactivated, places the tourism sector in a difficult position, but not only in the archipelago, there is a knock on effect off it as well. Tour operators, UK and German travel agencies, and airlines needed the islands to function this winter season to sell trips and stay afloat. Without this destination, their viability is also compromised, as are many thousands of jobs.
The president of Ashotel, Jorge Marichal, said yesterday that the prospects for the sector are "horrible" and warned that the sector "will not survive much longer." He advocated a rescue plan that includes exemptions from Social Security payments and taxes, as well as deferrals in the payment obligations of hoteliers. "If these measures are not taken, what will come will be foreclosures, bankruptcies and unemployment," he said.
The airports in the Aena network continue to see drops in the number of passengers. During the month of November, 2.9 million people passed through the network, which is 84.1% less than in the same month last year. In addition, 72,906 aircraft movements were registered (55.8% less) and 77,289 tons of goods (25.1% less). In the absence of a month to close 2020, from January to November a total of 72.2 million passengers have moved through Spanish airports, which is 71.9% less than in 2019.