The Aviba association of travel agencies in the Balearics believes that the Spanish government's proposed air transport tax is unjustified for "extrapeninsular territories", i.e. the Balearics, Canaries and the north African cities of Ceuta and Melilla. In the Balearics, the association notes, there is "no other solution than to use this transport".
Xisco Mulet, the Aviba president, said on Tuesday that he will want to "read the small print" before expressing criticism, but added that the advance notice of the tax was not something that agencies or residents like.
The association accepts that it doesn't know the ins and outs of the tax, but argues that it will be a measure that is harmful to residents and to tourism. "It will increase the cost of tourists' visits and, given the events that we are experiencing in terms of health, now is not the time to be placing more obstacles in front of the economy."
"To increase prices when the holiday period is getting closer or to now levy new taxes on tickets is unjustified. It is also unfair. Residents need to use air transport in order to travel to the mainland. Moreover, there are other means of transport, such as the high-speed train, which contaminate but do not seem to be harmed by this measure." As well as being unjustified, the tax - for residents of the Balearics - appears to be "discriminatory, especially for those people who inevitably have to travel by air".
Aviba is calling for the government to show understanding and responsibility and to also negotiate the introduction of new planes that are more sustainable and which cut pollution with airlines.