When United Airlines start operating direct flights to Palma from Newark Liberty International Airport next summer, numbered among their passengers will be cruise tourists. There is a tie-up between the airline and Royal Caribbean, whose cruise ships include Harmony of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas.
The Council of Mallorca, via its tourism foundation, says that the airline is enthused by the response there has been to this, there having been videoconferences to discuss the coordination. These have involved the Council, the Balearic government's Aetib tourism agency, Palma town hall, and the US Consular Agent for the Balearic Islands, Kimberly Marshall.
The Council is especially interested in developing the air route beyond the initial June to September period currently scheduled for 2022. The airline has meanwhile created additional interest among the political institutions by expressing a wish to complement other tourism sectors and make them more profitable.
For now, and apart from simply bringing American tourists to Mallorca, the sector most under discussion is cruise tourism. Kimberly Marshall observes that anything which brings the American market closer to the island is positive for Mallorca's image and economy. "We are on top of the United Airlines project because of the strategic interest it has."
Beatriz Orejudo, president of the commission of consignee companies, is naturally enthusiastic about the airline's cruise link. This will benefit all areas of business in Palma and will represent a step in further expansion of the American tourism market in Mallorca in general.
She notes that there are at present five or six days next year when five cruise ships are expected in port on the same day as well as a number of days with three to four. But what happens with the schedule for 2022 is still uncertain, as discussions are continuing regarding possible limits.
The fact that United Airlines intend bringing American tourists, recognised as being high spenders, may give the politicians something to think about when they are conducting these discussions.