At the conference of German tourism industry representatives in Playa de Palma on Sunday, the CEO of Condor, Ralf Teckentrup, said that the airline had been preparing to start operations with Majorca for some weeks, adding that daily schedules will not be as they have been previously. "It will be impossible to think that there may be nine daily connections from some German airports with Son Sant Joan."
Teckentrup observed that it will be easier to schedule short-haul than long-haul flights and that flights to the Caribbean, for example, were unlikely to be scheduled until October. For Majorca, there would normally be over 2,000 flights in August; Condor expects that the number will be around half of these (flights in and out of Son Sant Joan). Germans, he added, are looking forward to a vacation.
The Condor CEO believed that the crisis for tourism caused by the pandemic will last for at least two years, but he was not of the view that very cheap flights are the way for airlines to confront this crisis. "The policy of cutting prices could destroy companies. It's not going to be possible to sell flights for 20 euros."
Norbert Fiebig, president of the DRV travel association, felt that it will take two years for tourist numbers to return to 2019 levels. The crisis will leave its mark on families who are experiencing financial difficulties and will therefore affect their holidays. He hoped that there will be a vaccine that will solve the problem more quickly.
Svensk Schikarsky of DER Touristik agreed that it was essential that destinations take health security very seriously, adding that it also essential to appeal to people's emotions. Images of turquoise seas in Majorca are not ones that can be seen in Germany.
He observed that scheduling holidays for Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey will be very difficult before September, and on offers, he noted that some hotel companies will be doing this, but identified Condor and Iberostar as two which will not be. They are focusing on quality rather than on lowering prices. Finn Ackermann, Iberostar's global commercial director, stressed that the company's policy will not be one of offering bargains but of making customers feel safe and of their enjoying the quality of the hotels. "You have to make offers to stimulate the market, but our premise must always be quality."
Ackermann explained that five of the fifteen Iberostar hotels will open. They will have 70% capacity in order to guarantee distancing, so "the profitability will be lower, but we all want the machinery to start". Iberostar has been working with a World Health Organization adviser in setting its protocols. If there are any suspicious cases, the entire hotel will not be quarantined but these guests and their families will be isolated in specific rooms. Iberostar will assume the cost of doing this.
The CEO of Lufthansa City Center, Markus Orth, was convinced that Majorca has "done its homework". This was why, despite people being hesitant about taking holidays, Majorca is number one in terms of holidaymaker preferences.