By Humphrey Carter

AFTER having been practically isolated from the UK for the past two winters, Palma is this summer going to be linked to the UK by a record number of flights.

From the new Victor private jet share scheme to an increase in low cost flights and year round scheduled flights operated by Monarch, British Airways yesterday announced that not only is its CityFlyer service from London City Airport taking off again this Sunday, it will also be operating a scheduled Gatwick to Palma flight this season.

This week, Spanish airport authority AENA, reported that it is having to handle a marked increase in demand for take-off and landing slots from UK carriers while Ryanair is pushing AENA hard to make a snap decision over the Irish airline's project to establish a new Spanish hub here in Palma.

CityFlyer is going to begin operations to Palma and Ibiza this weekend with three flights per week which will rise to six a week in the peak of the season.

CityFlyer's Commercial Manager Luke Hayhoe told the Bulletin yesterday: “British Airways is launching it's second year of the popular London City to Palma route this Sunday. “The route proved very popular last year with a number of frequent travellers regularly using the flights. “London City Airport is centrally located with a large catchment area which saves time compared to flying from airports such as Stansted and Luton. “In addition to this British Airways offer a minimum check in time from London City of just 15 minutes with hand luggage and 20 minutes with checked luggage. “We first launched leisure-only flights from London City last year in direct response to demand from our customers. “But, they have proved so popular, particularly during the summer months, that we have decided to expand them further this year.” This year's flight schedule has been designed to maximise long weekend breaks in Palma as well as longer breaks in both directions.
The flights will again continue until at least the end of October, with an option to extend until closer to Christmas depending on demand.