THE award-winning British low fares airline Monarch has had a long-standing relationship with the Balearics, Majorca in particular, and this winter it is going to be making a concerted effort to help make winter tourism work.
Currently operating three flights per week from Gatwick to Palma, it last month announced it intends to continue operating the Gatwick service through the winter and yesterday, the airline unveiled three more weekly flights to Palma from Manchester which will mean that the airline will be operating between the UK and Palma all-year-round.
The new flights mean that Monarch will be offering over 51'000 seats to Palma this winter with prices starting at just 38 pounds and are on sale now.
Hugh Morgan, the new MD Tour Operations for the Monarch Travel Group has known Majorca for years, he has lived here for many and is passionate about the island and making winter tourism work once and for all.
He knows what Majorca has to offer during the winter and negotiations with the local tourism authorities are proving very productive.
The Ministry for Tourism has committed to help market the winter flights and the key focus is on getting the hoteliers to also work with Monarch to back up the airline's investment in operating the winter services and make competitive offers to encourage Britons to come on holiday to Majorca this winter. We are looking to maintain these routes for future winters and need the support from everyone on the island to make this winter a success, Katy Sayburn, Head of Purchasing and Operations for the Monarch Travel Group told the Bulletin yesterday.
Last winter was a nightmare for residents and holiday makers trying to fly to Majorca. Not only did British Midland scrap its daily flight from Heathrow, the tour operators cancelled their charter operations for the best part of three months and even the low cost carriers reduced their services.
This winter, however, it appears that Monarch are committing themselves to providing a much needed service.
Monarch currently operates a total number of 23 flights per week to Palma and is determined to continue expanding.
Commenting on the expanded flying programme, Managing Director of Monarch Airlines, Tim Jeans said, Our customers have been requesting year-round flights to Majorca for some time, so it is great news that we are now able to respond to this and offer a winter service. Flights to Palma from Gatwick only launched in July and demand for them has been staggering with almost 15'000 passengers booked to travel already. The additional flying across the Monarch network over the winter months is reflective of the booking strength we are already seeing for flights to core destinations such as Alicante and Malaga. Our winter flying programme has been on sale since January 2010 and demand for flights to our Spanish destinations has continued to grow since then. But, as Katy Sayburn stressed yesterday, Monarch is going to need the help of everybody to make this winter season work.