The Vice-President and Minister of Finance, Budgets and European Affairs of the Canary Islands Government, Román Rodríguez, encouraged this week the airline Binter to expand its catalogue of destinations to the mainland, to connect with the major capitals, and thus give “a response to the merger of Iberia with Air Europa and maintain” both connectivity and competition in the archipelago.
In the meeting that Rodríguez held with the president of Binter, Rodolfo Núñez, he acknowledged and thanked the trajectory of a company that “all Canary Islanders feel as their own” and pointed out that its “consolidation and projection with the rest of Spain and the world is essential”.
Rodríguez also met with the general coordinator of Binter, Santiago Guerra, the member of the Board of Directors, Juan Ramsden; the director of the Commercial and Marketing area of the airline, Miguel Ángel Suárez; the director of Programming, Revenue Management and Alliances, Jonay Lobo; and the director of Binter Systems, Héctor Reboso, as reported by the regional government in a press release.
He told them that the Canary Islands Government “will always be on the side of those companies that improve” the connectivity of the islands and “enjoy the favour of the market to guarantee quality, frequencies and prices”. He added that if the market “is insufficient” to achieve these objectives, the declaration of public service obligations will be promoted.
“Both options, the ordinary functioning of the markets and public service obligations, can coexist, as is currently the case for all inter-island connections in the Canary Islands, where they operate with efficiency, quality and good prices,” he added.
Currently, he said, there are 161 air connections in Europe with a declaration of public service obligation, and he recalled that EU legislation protects this possibility as an outermost region (OR). He also stressed that the 75% discount for residence “will not be touched”, stressing that “no” changes would be accepted “to this achievement of all” residents of the Canary Islands, which “allows the costs of mobility in the archipelago to be brought into line with those on the mainland”.
He also referred to emissions trading in EU air transport, which exempts inter-island flights and flights with the mainland until 2030. In this regard, he pointed out that they are going to “fight to ensure that the regulation also exempts flights with EU countries and that it is extended beyond 2030 or, if this is not possible, that at least compensation is established”.
Finally, the president of Binter, Rodolfo Núñez, highlighted the company’s corporate tranquillity, which he said “has allowed it to expand in recent years to such an extent that it is now almost throughout Spain”, although he admitted that they want to continue to grow. Binter operates 200 flights a day and employs 1,800 people.
“We have invested almost 400 million euros in new aircraft and we will soon tell you what we are going to do with them,” he said, while also saying that they will try to “do things before the merger of Iberia and Air Europa becomes fully effective, which is expected for the middle of next year”.