Providing more flights
A little more information, which may be of use to you, in understanding the workings of EU airlines in general and as laid down by the EU Joint Aviation Authority . Unless the airlines are prepared to change their winter flight schedules for 2015/16, which no doubt have already been submitted to their base country’s aviation governing bodies, or they are about to acquire more aircraft, it is difficult to see any improvements to the present lack of winter flights. A programme on channel 4 today, A Place in the Sun, gives viewers an insight into buying property in the Malaga area. This no doubt will encourage UK residents to visit the area with the intention of buying houses there and thus creating a demand for more seats to Malaga. Both Ryanair and easyJet are unlikely to exchange already high load factor flights to Malaga for untried winter flights to Majorca.
If the prospect of more winter flights by these two airlines, or any other UK based airlines, is not good then the alternative is for flights to be provided from Majorca to the UK. It seems to me that there are three possible ways in which this can be achieved:
By persuading Spanish airlines, which have spare winter capacity and already operate flights from Majorca, namely Air Europa, Iberia Express and Vueling, to extend their routes to UK regional airports. Non of these, as far as I can ascertain, have aircraft or crews based here in Majorca and therefore operating the flights could prove to be expensive.
By making use of a present, or start a new, travel agency which operates under the Spanish equivalent of the UK ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licencing), assuming such a things exists, and use an airline with spare capacity to provide the flights. The airline would be fully responsible for all the services and would operate under their present name, using their own flight numbers and conditions of travel. Air Malta is one such airline with spare capacity.
By starting a new airline based in Majorca and using the airline’s two aircraft (either purchased or dry leased) to operate the required services. This is a complicated and lengthy process and would require about 14 million euros to fund the venture - more if the airline purchased the two aircraft which cost about 89 million euros each. An alternative would be to wet (ACMI) lease the aircraft from another airline. This entails leasing the aircraft on a block hour basis, about 3 thousand euros per hour, for the aircraft, the crew, all the maintenance and insurance. This is quite expensive but relieves the Majorca airline of many start up problems.
Assuming the Spanish Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) works in a similar fashion to the UK CAA, the formation of a new airline using the airlines own, or dry leased, aircraft would take well over one year to establish and winter operations would be unlikely to commence before the 2016/17 season. The other problem would be raising the necessary finances but, despite Andrew Ede’s reasoning that using ‘public funds would almost certainly run up against EU disapproval’, government financial help is not a problem unless it gives an unfair competitive advantage to its own state’s airline. In this case there is nothing to compete with!
I do not know what is the present situation the MES study into setting up of an airline. I have written to Biel Barceló, their spokesperson, but as yet I have received neither an answer nor an acknowledgement.
I haven’t gone into the details of setting up an airline as they are lengthy and complicated, even though, to me, interesting. If you would like more information on this aspect I would be happy to meet with you and talk about it in broad general terms or indeed in detail.
Very best regards,
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