At the Mallorca Hoteliers Federation's annual meeting for representatives of Spain's tourist bureaus in the main overseas markets on Monday, the deputy director of the London bureau, Carlos Ruiz, said that the UK forecast for the winter in the Balearics was 60% fewer airline seats than last year and that the current projection for summer 2021 is between 25% and 30% lower than 2019.
For the winter, just over 100,000 airline seats have been programmed. For next summer the forecast figure is at present 3.1 million, which is three times higher than this year.
Ruiz stated that the health data will be key. "If there are good figures, the market will open. Demand exists and companies will add flights. We hope that by the spring, if the health situation is favourable, all efforts will be put on taking tourists to Spain." At the moment, he explained, airlines are delaying their scheduling for Mallorca until the start of spring and for Minorca and Ibiza until May. But if the UK government includes the Balearics among its safe corridors, "there will be an immediate response".
He added that the Bank of England's latest forecast is for an 11% reduction in UK GDP by the end of the year. As well as this economic factor, there is the effect of Brexit and depreciation in the value of the pound. This will depend on whether or not there is a deal. "But this market is very resilient, and in this regard Spain is well positioned."
Arturo Ortiz, the director of the Berlin bureau, suggested that German flight programming currently indicates a fall in the number of seats of between 50% and 60% compared with 2019.
He explained that the German economy is still the strongest in the EU and that the fall in GDP is predicted to be between four and six per cent this year. Ortiz believed that the German economy "will resist robustly". Spain is still the number one destination for Germans and "Mallorca is the destination where they want to go, but they do not know when they will be able to". He felt that things will return to what they were but that recovery will not be complete next year.