Scottish minister for Infrastructure, Keith Brown.

13-09-2015Peter Devlin

After having had no direct flights to Majorca or the Balearics as a whole since October, Scots are beginning to enjoy direct access to the island again, but the issue of the lack of winter flights is one that the Scots are not prepared to let drop.

The Bulletin, on behalf of its readers, has been pushing and campaigning for more direct winter flights from the UK as  a whole for the past three years and it would appear that Jet2 has this year taken note to the winter demand and already begun operating demand flights to Palma from locations in northern England as well as Scotland.

However, for Scots, and to a lesser extent many people who live in the north of England and Ireland and who own properties on the island, they want direct flights al-year round. On Monday, Scottish reader, Ian Rice, who has owned a property in Santa Ponsa for over 30 years, who is chairman of the resident association in the Eden Roc complex and who has been a very active and helpful member of the Bulletin’s campaign, is going to sit down for talks with the Scottish minister for infrastructure, Keith Brown, who is responsible for transport.

Apart from what the Scottish government can do to solve the winter flight shortage, Rice will also be suggesting that the minister writes to his counterpart in Majorca and tries to start a dialogue between the two regarding support for winter flights from Scotland. Rice will also suggest that Brown contacts the Balearic minister for tourism, Biel Barcelo, and the director of Palma Airport, José Antonio Álvarez.

Rice has been in contact with both Ryanair and easyJet. Ryanair was the only airline to reply and it was Michael O’Leary, the chief executive, who in person explained the hurdles which are being thrown up by the Spanish authorities, such a refusal to reduce airport operating fees during the winter, which make operating winter flights a financial risk.

Recently, Ryanair promised the government that it would bring 1.5 million more passengers to the Balearics in the winter if they cut operating fees. The airport authority Aena is said to have refused.

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John Reeves / Hace over 2 years

Your campaign is aimed in the wrong direction. Why would anyone want to come to Mallorca to see hotels, restaurants etc closed. The biggest winter attraction at present is tumbleweed. Get the facilities open and then ship the people in. Doing it your way just will not work.

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Arwel Edwards / Hace over 2 years

Might I suggest that the Bulletin and the Balesric Minister for Tourism also talk to the Welsh Government (owners of Cardiff International Aurport) concerning winter flights to Mallorca.

There used to be an excellent winter service with BMI Baby - but this stopped some years ago. Vueling have a very good summer season service and perhaps this company and/ or FlyBe might be persuaded to start winter flights to take advantage of the 1 million or so flyers from South/West Wales who go to Bristol and other airports.

Yours

J Arwel Edwards (Dr) Mumbles, Swansea

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