José Espartero made the announcement in Palma today.


José Espartero, Ryanair’s sales and marketing manager for Spain and Portugal, announced in Palma today that a proposal has been made to the regional government and to Aena to bring 1.5 million more passengers per annum into the Balearics in exchange for “the lowest costs possible” during the low season. The request was formulated only last month and has, therefore, only recently been made.

The low charges being sought stem from the airline’s belief that “rates in summer and winter should not be the same”. Espartero, addressing “the problem of seasonality”, believes that there is potential for an increase in low-season tourism. “There is an opportunity to be able to utilise the airport (Palma) and bring more tourists in the low season,” he argues, noting that 87% of Palma’s traffic currently occurs between April and October.

“We see the possibility of increasing traffic and tourists in the low season but we understand that the costs would have to be lower. Because there is no activity in the low season, it will need to be fostered in order that there can be growth.”

Ryanair has as yet not received any response to its proposal, while Espartero has not identified how many of the additional 1.5 million passengers might be ones in the low season. The airline, fleshing out the proposal, calculates that this additional volume of traffic would correspond to an additional 500 million euros and 1,100 more jobs for the local economy. Asked if the airline has asked the Balearics for a specific amount of money, Espartero reiterated the fact the proposal is “to increase volume by incentivising and not penalising through costs that do not allow an increase in low-season volume”. He emphasised that costs had to be lower in low season “in order to incentivise an increase in volume”. He stressed that Ryanair does not look for subsidies but for “lower costs”, and as the airline waits to receive a reply, he concluded that “we’ll see what they have to say to us”.


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Steve Riches / Hace over 5 years

The winter shut down has become endemic. People DO want to come here but a lot of the island has reached a cosy situation where, to be frank, it can't be bothered. It suits the hoteliers to lay people off for the winter months, it can even suit the laid off people if they can get cash-in-hand work or some form of benefits to see them through. A lot of the bar owners just shrug their shoulders and have long holidays instead. Having said that, there ARE quite a lot of people who WANT to work to provide tourism and if Ryanair's proposal was agreed, and if some "pockets" of tourism were kept open and promoted, it would work. We are already seeing that Palma is getting a lot of its hotels used over winter as tourists wake up to the continuing attractions. Give Ryanair what they want, it is worth a try as long as the proper efforts are made in Mallorca...and that includes an up to date trustworthy website in several languages for tourists to peruse accommodation and a list of events and attractions. WHY NOT?


Mike / Hace over 5 years

Congratulations Ryanair but I am not holding my breath no point in lowering your prices just so they can tax you when you arrive


STAN JESSOP / Hace over 5 years

I doubt this proposal will see fruition. Mallorca is used to working from May to October, and has become conditioned to 6 months of rest , and semi-retirement. No Hotels, No Bars, No Shops, No attractions, No Employment, Ghost Urbanisations , No Tourist Tax , No revenue.


Ron / Hace over 5 years

Now let's see if the hoteliers and this government REALLY want tourists in the winter. I suspect nothing will come of it. They need the winter to do all their building improvements in those 'ghost resorts' - look at Can Picafort for example. Everything covered in black plastic - even the telephone kiosk! Mallorca will never be busy in winter like Benidorm - the climate is not warm enough. The hotels and villa companies won't open up and risk employing staff on the off chance that a few tourists will come. BUT let's be very brave here. Give Ryan Air what they want, at least restore a connection to Scotland. Us Scots have always been loyal to the island and many of us live here. It is sad when you see that so many German airlines manage to come in winter. Even if just a few more hotels on the Maritimo and Playa de Palma took the plunge it would be a brave move, create more jobs, keep the Palma shops, bars etc. busy. And Sr. Barcelo - think of all the extra euros coming into your tax coffers. (sorry - sustainable tourism fund).


Alex Galbraith / Hace over 5 years

The Ryanair proposal makes complete sense and deserves serious consideration. We ,in Scotland, would like to visit Mallorca in the winter months and our family in Mallorca would also like to "come home" during the winter.