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

05-04-2016Twitter

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.

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Cathy / Hace over 3 years

So if a company can do this why can’t we have flights to Scotland in the winter.

+8-

Richard / Hace over 3 years

Off topic but deliberately so: looking at the selection of local news in Ultimate Hora Vs MDB, what a terrible set of editorial choices. We don’t need a lot of the news MDB published in the last few days. How about reporting news that’s more critical. Like, for example, the play school teacher/owner who has just been sentenced to a mere 6 months for abusing the babies in her care. As a parent I’d certainly want to know about that. As for the flights, it isn’t going to happen, folks. And Bart, why the predujice against the Germans?

+3-

les / Hace over 3 years

This will put the final nail in the coffin for the British holiday maker, the Americans will pay more and spend more which will push prices up in the restaurants and Hotels and beyond our pockets.

+3-

Bart / Hace over 3 years

Hearing some American English would make a welcome change from the German one hears almost everywhere in Palma these days. Lol

+-9-

Pollensa1946 / Hace over 3 years

As welcome as this is, I'm a little confused. The Mallorcan government wants to reduce tourism volume, but the tourist councilor welcomes more flights, and consequently more tourists.

+11-

gareth / Hace over 3 years

I fly with Norwegian all the time as they are brilliant.

Sadly I do believe that Spain will eventually push Norwegian out. They will be embroiled by the old fashioned legal employment rules. In Mallorca they will insist on one person being Catalan speaking.

They used to fly daily from Gatwick and for the last two years they have only flown twice a week as too many people only check to fly these days with Easyjet. They are cheaper than Easy Jet and I believe offer a much nicer experience.

Norwegian has received many awards as is dominating the cheap air travel market with seats to destinations in the USA and Thailand. Buenos Aires has recently been added.

+9-

James / Hace over 3 years

Please, please, please let this happen. I travel back and forth to the States, to see family, fairly often. The Barcelona/Madrid "speed-bump" is a major pain in the nether regions.

+6-