The winter flight situation between Majorca and the UK is going to be better this winter, although Scotland will remain isolated for most of the low season and Ryanair says operating flights from Scotland to Palma are not worth it.
Most of the readers of the Majorca Daily Bulletin will be all too aware of the campaign for more winter flights the paper has been running for the past two years and a number of individuals have even taken the matter up with their local MPs and now the Chief Executive of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary.
He did reply in a “strictly private and confidential” letter but he made it quite clear that the airline does not consider operating direct flights between Scotland and Palma in the midwinter financially viable because the weather, in both destinations, is not conducive for the numbers of passengers the airline needs to make a profit.
However, in general, flight connections between the UK and Palma are going to be greatly improved this winter with Jet2 leading from the front. The airline and tour operator made it clear in Palma at the end of the summer that it would “love to be flying to Palma every day of the year”, and it appears that this winter it is taking its first step towards achieving that goal. And increased flight connections from the UK are helping to make Palma become more accessible as a year-round destination, which is the aim of the local authorities.
Jet2 is to start its 2016 flights from Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Edinburgh from February and March. Twice-weekly flights from Manchester begin on 11 February, with an increase to three times a week from 5 March before the normal summer schedule of 20 flights a week is introduced in May. Services to Palma from Leeds Bradford will start on 26 February with two flights a week before increasing to the normal summer schedule of 12 times a week. Twice-weekly flights from Edinburgh start on 3 March on Thursdays and Sundays, increasing to five times a week during the summer. The new flights represent a total capacity of 10,228 seats during February and March 2016.
Summer 2016 will see Ryanair increasing frequency from Birmingham to Palma from daily flights to nine departures a week. Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling is raising the number of flights from Cardiff to Palma to three times a week from 28 March, with daily flights between June and September. Aer Lingus will increase flights from two to five a week from Belfast City Airport, representing 25,000 more seats for next summer over this year.
And Britons coming to Majorca this winter, should the euro remain weak, are going to be quids in. The increased purchasing power of the pound against the euro and other European currencies is giving British travellers up to 13% more spending power this winter over last year. The good value available to UK visitors has been boosted by sterling starting to rise in value against European currencies in the past two weeks.
The strong pound means visitors to all 12 of the cities surveyed will have greater spending power than last year - almost 12% more in Eurozone destinations. Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “Sterling’s strength brings glad festive tidings for shoppers visiting Europe. “Not only will they have up to £60 more in their pockets when they change pounds into European currency, but they will also benefit from the low prices in many cities.”