The Hotel and Extra-Hotel Association of Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro, known as Ashotel, has strongly criticized the ongoing chaotic situation at Tenerife South Airport, which has persisted for several months following Brexit and the implementation of passport control for UK citizens. Ashotel highlights the existence of “long queues” that extend not only at passport control but also at the taxi stands, a situation they deem incompatible with the island’s status as a top-tier national infrastructure.
Tenerife South Airport is a significant hub, ranking seventh in the entire Aena network in terms of passenger traffic, with 10.8 million passengers and 75,600 operations recorded in 2022, according to official data.
Victoria López, the Vice-President of Ashotel, expresses her disbelief at the bottleneck in passport control for passengers arriving from non-EU countries like the United Kingdom, given the high volume of tourists visiting the island. She points out that this isn’t an isolated incident but rather an ongoing problem despite advance knowledge of flight schedules, which should allow for adequate staff planning.
The issue is further exacerbated after passing passport control, where lengthy queues for taxis leave thousands of passengers waiting.
Ashotel questions the exclusive competence of Granadilla taxis in an airport of insular interest and argues that licensed vehicles from other municipalities that drop off passengers at Tenerife South should not have to leave empty while passengers await transportation to their accommodations or residences. They believe this anomaly needs to be resolved promptly.
The association calls for the declaration of the island’s primary air and sea transport infrastructures as sensitive areas. This declaration would enable all taxi licenses to operate without restrictions, eliminating the reservation for vehicles from specific municipalities. Ashotel emphasizes that these infrastructures are funded by taxes from all Spaniards, not just those residing in particular municipalities.
In a bid to find a solution, Ashotel plans to request meetings with the management of Tenerife South Airport, the relevant police authorities, and the taxi drivers’ association in Granadilla de Abona. Their goal is to address a problem that is unbecoming of a top European destination.
Victoria López stresses the regrettable impact on both tourists and residents, particularly at a time when tourism is nearing pre-pandemic levels and experiencing increased connectivity during the Canary Islands’ peak season.
The Vice-President urges the Island Council of Tenerife to implement necessary changes in the interest of responsibility and the common good. Ashotel highlights that Tenerife South Airport is a highly profitable infrastructure, despite being underfunded in state budgets.
Tenerife South: ACCUMULATED PROBLEMS
This issue compounds longstanding concerns about the airport’s infrastructure, which, according to Ashotel, does not meet the demands of Tenerife’s status as a premier destination.
In May 2022, Aena and the Island Council of Tenerife announced an 8 million euro injection for the remodeling of a terminal that has remained virtually unchanged since its original construction in 1978, despite not aligning with current needs or the volume of operations and passenger traffic it handles annually.