THE Commercial Director of BA CityFlyer, Luke Hayhoe, revealed to the Bulletin this week that the airline is awaiting the green light from Palma airport to add a sixth weekly summer service between London City Airport and Majorca.
Since BA CityFlyer announced that it is to be flying three times per week to Palma from May, last December, demand has been so high that last week it unveiled another two flights during the peak summer months and Hayhoe said this week that, it is awaiting a Saturday slot from Palma so that it can add a Saturday flight during peak season.
Saturdays are relatively quiet at City Airport so we have the slot in London, we're just waiting clearance from Palma, ·Hayhoe said.
Obviously, we're primarily business service but we began operating leisure routes such as Barcelona and Nice last year and the response was good so we decided to expand our leisure service this year with Ibiza and Palma and interest in the Palma route has been enormous, he said.
Hence we are expanding our peak season service to, hopefully six daily flights per week, and we're already reconsidering our initial decisions to halt the service for the winter on September 13.
I think, while we may obviously reduce the number of flights, continue past that date, he told the Bulletin.
Our main catchment market is inner London and professional City business people, they account for about 75 percent of our clients, but on the leisure routes we're witnessing a steady increase in tourist traffic, holiday home owners and commuters who are based in destinations like Majorca but work in London during the week.
City Airport is so easy to use and we're going to be the only full service scheduled flights into Palma from London airports this year and we're also going to be price competitive with the low cost carriers.
It is also a very easy airport to use, it's been designed to be quick and easy.
There's a 15 minute check in period for those travelling with hand luggage and 20 minutes for those wanting to check bags in and, on board, we offer the full BA service, he added.
We consider Palma to be a niche market and we have had a very positive response from the local tourism authorities on the island, he added.
The Majorcan Tourist Board's Anna Skidmore, whom Luke Hayhoe first approached at the World Travel Market in the Docklands last year, admitted this week that she is very excited about the new service.