The airlines plan to operate a total of 2,422 flights to the Canary Islands in a typical week next November, which means 189 more connections than in 2022, when 2,233 weekly connections were made to the archipelago, according to the data on scheduled air connectivity for the season that runs from November 2023 to March 2024 handled by the Tourism Intelligence, Planning and Connectivity Service of Canary Islands Tourism.
This has been reported by the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Trade of the Canary Islands Government, which, through Canary Islands Tourism, has been able to confirm at ITB Berlin that the archipelago will maintain its tourist demand at even higher levels next winter season. Thus, if we compare the data with 2019, there are 577 more arrivals to the islands in November 2023 than in the same month of the pre-pandemic season, an increase of nearly 24%.
However, the minister in charge of the sector, Yaiza Castilla, has warned that when comparing with 2019, the effect of the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook, which had an offer of 800,000 seats per year and which left a “clear gap” in connectivity with the Canary Islands at the beginning of the winter season of that year, must be taken into account. In addition, that year also saw the effects of the disappearance of the Germania airline, which operated some 400,000 seats to the islands.
Yaiza Castilla pointed out that although the airline schedules for the winter season should be taken with caution, as they may vary given the uncertainties that persist at a socio-economic level in Europe and the world, “it is clear that we are talking about very good figures that give an idea of the high confidence that the Canary Islands have in the tourist market”, she said.
“This confidence in the destination means that the airlines are reinforcing their commitment to the islands in these months in which we continue to be leaders, not only because of our well-known natural and climatic attributes, but also because the choice of a destination continues to be based on issues such as security, confidence and European service standards,” added Castilla.
She also explained that in Europe, sustainability is given increasing importance, and when it comes to choosing sun and beach destinations such as the Canary Islands, priority is given to those medium-distance destinations (4 or 5 hours away by plane) that generate a smaller carbon footprint.
MARKETS OF TRAVELLERS TO THE CANARY ISLANDS
By countries, the United Kingdom not only remains the main country of travellers to the islands for the coming winter, but also shows the greatest growth in its regular connectivity with the Canary Islands. Thus, in a typical week in November 2023 there are already 749 scheduled flights compared to 627 in the same typical week in November 2022 or 509 operations in 2019.
The second largest foreign outbound market is the Germany, with 425 connections to the islands per week, 11 more than last November and 101 more than in the same week in November 2019.
As for the third most important outbound market, the domestic market, regular air connectivity is also one of the fastest growing forecast for the winter, increasing from 557 flights per week in November 2022 to 672 for the same month in 2023. This is 115 more connections per week and 185 more than in the same week in November 2019.
THE CANARY ISLANDS: MEETING WITH TUI
The increase in the number of flights to the islands from Germany during the winter season is in line with what was conveyed this week in Berlin to the Minister of Tourism and her team by the top executives of the tourism giant TUI.
Executive director of the company, Sebastian Ebel, assured during the meeting with Castilla that they will make a greater commitment to the islands in winter, with a forecast of transporting 1.4 million tourists in the five months of the high season for the Canary Islands, while for this summer they estimate an even lower figure than in the pre-covid summer season, with 1.3 million customers to the Canary Islands from April to October. By markets, for this summer he pointed out that they are maintaining their air capacity from Holland and Poland and that they are decreasing from Germany.