Concerns have been expressed about potential increases in ticket prices because of the rise in the residents flight discount from 50% to 75% that is scheduled to take effect from August.
The president of Iberia, Luis Gallego, says that his airline will not be increasing prices. Speaking at the Foro Preferente conference in Palma, Gallego stated that it would not be possible to put prices up because of the competition for passengers. He explained that there are three or four operators for each route to and from the mainland. There is excess capacity, but "everyone wants to be able to fill the planes". Rather than price increases, he hinted that there might be a "price war".
For the Iberia president, news of the discount increase was positive as it will stimulate demand. Capacity, he noted, will have to be adapted, although the low-cost Iberia Express at present has no plans to increase its daily frequencies on the Palma to Madrid route.
Gallego was one of the various contributors to the Foro Preferente, organised by the Majorca-based travel magazine Preferente. As reported in yesterday's Bulletin, there was a debate about so-called "tourismphobia" at the conference. Other "challenges" facing tourism (this was the theme of the conference) involved the participation of hotel bosses, such as Gabriel Escarrer of Meliá, and of the heads of agencies, like Pedro Homar of the Palma365 Foundation.
There was general agreement that the current situation with tourist "saturation" needs to be controlled. Escarrer believed that the "current model is not sustainable". Homar referred to the 800,000 visitors that Palma has in high summer and to the "collapse that is generated in the rest of the island".
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