The Canary Islands is proceeding with the orderly closure of all tourist-based establishments as holidaymakers are being repatriated to their respective countries and are going to ask the Council of Ministers only to authorise 20 daily flights to mainland Spain.
Early on Monday morning, the President of the Canary Islands met with his Advisory Council members (made up of the two main employers’ associations and the two most representative trade unions) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to hear their proposals regarding employment and business activity and advance the air traffic restrictions that he will suggest to Pedro Sánchez.
At the end of the meeting, the President of the Canary Confederation of Employers, Agustín Manrique de Lara, and the UGT Institutional Relations Secretary on the islands, Pedro Martínez, explained the proposal: The Canary Islands is asking for only 10 daily domestic flights in Gran Canaria and another 10 in Tenerife (in each case, 2 to Madrid, 2 to Barcelona, 1 to Bilbao and 1 to Seville) with passenger numbers restricted to 50 per cent.
They also added that they would study other connections with the islands (Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and La Palma), which usually have routes operating with the peninsula. Still, as a general rule, air traffic will be limited to attending healthcare needs and facilitate the return of citizens to their homes.
The Canary Islands traditionally has its high season in winter, when no other North African destination can compete with the islands warm temperatures. According to the statistics Frontur publishes every month, the Canaries has, for years, always had more than one million foreign tourists per month in January, February, March and sometimes April if Holy Week is during that month.
The president of the employers’ association, CCE in the province of Las Palmas, stressed that we must accept that the islands are facing a period of “up to three months” in which tourism is going to be “zero” and businesses will be empty.