Palma.—The motion was tabled by Partido Popular senators and approved yesterday evening and the move has been welcomed by the Balearic tourist industry and the regional airports.

For the past few winters, the number of regular flights between the Balearics and key markets such as Germany and the UK have declined drastically.
Mainly due to the lack of hotels remaining open but also because of the high cost of operating at Balearics airports.
However, now, Balearic airports will be able to offer airlines discount operating costs which should lead to more flight connections this winter.
Lifeline
PP senator Jaime Mateu said that the government strongly believes in airports being able to be more flexible with their operating costs during the winter because it prolongs the season, keeps the airports active and improves the quality of life of island residents who need, or want, to fly from one island to another.

It is also going to prove attractive to international airlines which have grounded the majority of their winter flights to the Balearics of late.
Mateu stressed just how important regular flights to the Balearics are for the region. “They are the lifeline of the islands” he told senators during yesterday's debate. This winter, UK and Irish airlines have expanded their flight programmes to and from the Balearics, in particular Palma, but some of the main German carriers have reduced their operations and the government hopes that with the incentive of cheaper operating costs, they will reconsider their winter flight programmes.

Gamble
But, as British airlines which have committed themselves to regular flights throughout the winter have pointed out, they are taking a gamble with no help from the local tourist authorities. “We can lay on the flights, but we can not force people to board them and unless Majorca, in particular, is open for business this winter. “It could still be a very poor season again - what ever the airport operating costs are,” a sources for one of the leading airlines told the Bulletin.

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