Canary Islands To Offer Incentives On La Palma Routes

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The government of Spain’s Canary Islands has initiated a public-private program to financially incentivize airlines to connect La Palma Airport (SPC) with the UK, Ireland and continental Europe.

Airlines can receive “up to €200,000 ($187,000) … for each newly created route” to the island of La Palma from the Canary Islands Tourist Board, according to a statement from the board.

It is not clear whether the $200,000 would be a one-time payment or recurring on a timeline. The tourist board said 202 establishments in the Canary Islands “have joined the program and 19,310 vouchers worth €4,828,500 have been activated” for the program.

The Canary Islands Tourist Board said SPC's “connection with foreign countries fell by 16.8%” over the summer “with forecasts that it will fall to up to 21.8%” during the northern hemisphere winter season.

"Therefore, the purpose of this aid is focused on increasing international connections with the aim of attracting more foreign tourists," Canary Islands Tourism Minister Yaiza Castilla said in a statement. "Now is the time to prioritize connections between La Palma and European markets.”

He added that 18 routes have been approved by the government to be eligible for the funds. "We have prioritized routes with capitals of countries that are not already operating in the islands ... and even that have already had connectivity with La Palma in the past, which will undoubtedly facilitate their recovery,” Castilla said. “The selected routes connect La Palma with Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.”

The tourist board noted that “a series of requirements must be met” for airlines to receive the funds. The routes must be “exclusively international,” meaning not from Spain or a routing via a Spanish city.

Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.