By Humphrey Carter PALMA airport could become one of the most important airport hubs for flights to the UK, Germany and Spain in Europe, with easyJet and Air Berlin now vying for supremacy in Majorca. The new daily Air Berlin low-cost flight from Palma to Stansted, unveiled this week, now means that eight main UK airports are served by daily flights from Majorca, but what is more, Air Berlin has made it clear that if the Stansted route is a success, they intend to fly to more UK airports via its Palma hub. Germany's leading low-cost carrier has made no attempt to hides its intentions with regards to the UK's leading low-cost carrier, easyJet. The UK airline announced earlier this month that in the Spring it is to set up a new base in Berlin and fly to 11 destinations in six different countries including Palma and Barcelona. Joachim Huneld, managing partner of Air Berlin, says on the airline's website “if easyJet wants to visit Berlin, then it goes without saying that we will be paying them a visit in London.” Air Berlin already operates a number of daily flights from Palma to mainland destinations and carries 9.5 million passengers per year. To Palma alone, it carries some 2.5 million people back and forth from Germany. Air Berlin, a low-cost airline which still, however, provides all the traditional in flight services at no extra cost, is going to enter the market with extremely competitive prices on its Palma to Stansted route, likely to spark a price war which will only benefit the consumer. Air Berlin will also be operating daily flights Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Alicante and Málaga, via Palma, from December 19, with the aim of offering British travellers easier access to the UK's popular tourist destinations.

THERE are eight daily flights from Palma to Britain's main airports this winter with travellers spoilt for choice more than ever before.
The daily flights are to Luton, Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, Bristol and Liverpool while there are regular flights to Manchester, Cardiff, Birmingham, East Midlands, Newcastle, Leeds/Bradford, Glasgow and Edinburgh. The low-cost boom which the charter airlines and main carriers have all been forced to follow, has made travelling back and forth to the UK cheaper and easier than ever before and fuelled a whole new tourism industry. Thomas Cook in January will be organising special shopping flights from Glasgow to Palma and Lanzarote on January 3 and 4 for those who fancy a bit of winter sales shopping in the sun. A Thomas Cook spokesperson said “it's a great time of year to visit Majorca and the winter sales are on.”