Norwegian is said to be interested in a New York-Palma route. | Twitter

As reported several weeks ago in the Bulletin ("The Americans are coming again", 28 March), there are plans for direct flights from North America to Palma. The Canadian Air Transat, it was noted, was in talks with the Council of Majorca regarding flights from Toronto. And now, Norwegian is considering a direct route from New York.

The councillor responsible for tourism, Cosme Bonet, says that both airlines are showing interest. There have been direct contacts with their representatives, and the airlines see that Majorca has potential for tourists coming from the east of the US and Canada. "We want to take advantage of this opportunity and add to what we have acquired in terms of tourism promotion responsibilities."

While Norwegian is mainly looking at a New York route, it is also giving consideration to Boston and Philadelphia. Wherever the flights might be from, they would add weight to the Council's strategic plan for seeking alternative tourism markets. The Majorca Tourism Foundation, which is its promotional body, is taking up the challenge of working on new markets.

Air Transat already flies from Toronto Pearson International Airport to Barcelona's El Prat, but as significant is the airline's experience with the service to Malaga. A promotional campaign for Andalusia has proved to be a success.

To back up the new routes to Palma, the airlines have asked the Council of Majorca to organise promotion. Bonet explains that towards the end of the summer there will be an event in Manhattan to show off Majorca's tourism, in particular the culture and gastronomy, to tour operators and travel agencies. The Council can draw on the support of the Spanish Tourism Bureau in New York. This office, which is run by the national Turespaña agency, covers Canada as well as the US and has its own contacts with North American tour operators.

* If these routes become a reality, they will meet a long-held wish for direct flights with North America, but it isn't the case that there haven't been direct routes in the past. In October 1969, the first direct charter flight from Boston landed at Palma airport.

** Norwegian is meanwhile the potential target of a takeover. Last week, its board announced that it had turned down two offers from IAG; the airline's share price promptly dropped by nine per cent on the Oslo stock market. Willie Walsh of IAG said that there hadn't been any bids.

There has been a great deal of discussion about Norwegian, its debt and its strategy. One analyst, Karl Johan Molnes of Norne Securities, recently described the airline as "a bottomless pit" and hoped that it would pull back from its long-haul business.