The Balearic Government has written to the Minister of Development, José Luis Abalos denouncing the steep rise in flight prices, according to the President of the Balearic Government, Francina Armengol, who said meetings are being arranged with airlines to discuss the issue and in a bid to lower prices.
The Mixed Group Spokesperson, Josep Castells, has called for concrete action to improve connectivity in Minorca.
“It is a subject which has been aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Island suffers from the monopoly of an airline that speculates on the needs of the citizens,” he said.
President Armengol acknowledged that the problem of connectivity in Minorca is “an endemic issue which the Executive has been working on for many years, and in which a 75% discount increase has been achieved between Minorca, Madrid and Majorca, etc,” she said. ”We have been talking intensely with the airlines, because it is true that there are some who are not complying, and that's why I have sent a letter to Minister Abalos."
President Armengol added, “This Government has prepared a report on the possible consequences of the merger of IAG and Air Europa and we will continue to work in this regard. One example, as the Minister for Mobility, Marc Pons said, is that from the end of July Air Europa will operate Inter-Island flights with Minorca, which will provide more connectivity and lower prices.
"Air transport drowns Minorca and despite understanding that it is not a priority at the moment and that it is a topic of connectivity which has been aggravated by the pandemic, concrete measures are needed,” said Castells.
He also welcomed the fact that Minister Pons, has spoken with the companies", but warned, that with the merger of IAG and Air Europa "what happens in Minorca could happen in Majorca.”
President Armengol pointed out that "the Balearic Executive is equally concerned with the four islands and is working from the Social Dialogue Table, which she pointed out is how a co-marketing agreement valued at 900,000 euros was agreed.”
When asked about the sale of flights between Minorca and Barcelona costing 500 euros, Minister Pons said he’s confident that the cost of tickets will go down as more flights are put into operation to meet increased demand, but admitted prices are high.
A mesura que el sector aeronàutic recuperi la seva activitat, els preus aniran baixant.— Marc Pons (@marcpons73) July 7, 2020
Tot i així, algunes companyies no es comporten com haurien.
No ho fan ara i no ho feien abans de la #Covid19 i si el mercat no sap donar-li resposta hi hauria d'haver intervenció pública. pic.twitter.com/cIuXICPwRV
He also pointed out that four weeks ago there were 40 flights a day in operation compared to last week when there were 300 and that from next week three companies will be operating from Barcelona to Minorca. Vueling and Ryanair are already in operation and Air Europa will join them, so the increase in competition will likely result in a decrease in prices.
Minister Pons also recognised the special concern for this route saying "if the market does not give an answer, there should be a public intervention," and announced that they are studying the possibility of requesting the declaration of public service for the Minorca-Barcelona route.