Join Tenerife with the United States in a direct flight. The old aspiration becomes a reality again through the agreement reached between the Cabildo and United Airlines. Six weekly operations, three outbound and three in return, will connect, for now for four months, both destinations. These new routes were presented yesterday by the island president, Pedro Martín, who was accompanied by the CEO of Tenerife Tourism, David Pérez, and the director of the area, Laura Castro. The objective is to consolidate the initiative beyond the first two years. In addition, Martín confirmed a global increase of 5.5% in the reservation of air seats for this winter compared to the same period prior to Covid-19 (2019-2020). In figures, from the 1,451,000 two years ago to the 1,476,000 expected now. Lastly, the consolidation of the presence of the so-called flag airlines on the Island has been highlighted in positive terms.
Pedro Martin He detailed the agreement reached by Turismo de Tenerife to establish this direct connection between the Island and New York, as of June 9. The approximate duration of the flight varies between six and a half hours and seven hours and twenty minutes, with a price that will vary between 600 and 700 euros for the round trip. In this regard, the president of the Cabildo compared this calculation with the very high cost of traveling to London, to emphasize that “we must wait for the development of the air connection and its consolidation to try to balance the fare.” The island president stressed that “on this occasion the option of Miami has been ruled out, after taking stock of what happened between 2009 and 2011 when that was the base and the destination, also on the east coast.” “That’s where the strategy was directed and it didn’t work out.” Martín sent a message to other political formations, such as the Canary Coalition: «When we got to the island government there was simply nothing at all as for the concrete. Just the desire to open this market without any other planning.
A Boeing 757-300 plane, with three weekly frequencies to link Newark Liberty International Airport with Tenerife South. The American airfield represents a hub for connectivity with the entire east coast, the rest of the huge country, and even Canada. A powerful knot of connections that allows the flow of potential visitors to be derived from and to the conurbation formed by New Jersey and New York.
Martín assured that this is “magnificent news” and went on to explain that its genesis “has been the result of intense negotiations, begun months ago, to open, from now on, the door to a new tourist market, but also to business”. Not forgetting other flows of visitors, depending on the activities that could be carried out on the Island. Among them, nurturing the audiovisual market for filming “with reference to the material made here for Disney-type production companies.” Or those that can take advantage of possible tax benefits, in addition to the business niche, with special emphasis on the four or five-star hotels, those preferred by Americans. The hook, explain the promoters of the idea, is the same as always: “A climate that remains stable and in similar thermals between January and December of the calendar year.”
In reverse direction.
The island authorities also have figuratively designed the reverse direction of the trip, from Tenerife to the United States. They value from this perspective that the island’s population can, for the first time, “travel directly to New York to get to know the Big Apple as a vacation or leisure destination.” For this reason, Pedro Martín has stated that “last December a test was carried out in order to test the market situation and act accordingly.” “After this campaign to publicize the destination – something fundamental in a place where the Canary Islands and Tenerife are hardly a mere geographical reference full of topics – no less than $ 300,000 in tickets were sold.” From the United States itself and towards a place to discover. This, Martín values, “has reinforced our idea of continuing with this route.”
Martín insists on “promoting the route beyond the threshold of September 2022”. On the other hand, it highlights the fact of “going hand in hand with the state government and its seal, Turespaña.” It also underlines the importance of the next convention of tour operators and travel agents from the United States to be held in San Diego, California before the end of the year. Martín recalls that this route opening had already been tried before with other companies such as Iberia, for example, and that it has been months of negotiations with United Airlines until they have borne fruit. Martín values ”the great work throughout the Tenerife Tourism pandemic.” On the one hand, in the sense of recovering connectivity, which, he points out, “this winter will be 5.5% higher than that of 2019-2020”. And also “for increasing the number of flagship companies that already operate or will begin to do so in the coming months.” Among the latter. Martín lists “Air France, Swiss Airlines, airBaltic, Aeroflot or Lufthansa”. The German company returns after a decade to serve the island’s third market. With the aim of “recovering after the pandemic a traditional tourism in parallel to other markets that are opening to the Island for the first time.”
Fruit of a strategy.
The insular director of Tourism, Laura Castro, valued the result of the negotiation, the result of the strategy of the public company. He gave a figure: “In 2019 alone, 18,000 Americans stayed on the island, more than half of the number in the whole of the Canary Islands.” “It is a very interesting profile, with a medium-high purchasing power, which, in addition to coming on vacation, could do so for other purposes related to the field of business, cruises or filming,” he clarifies. Castro says that “having, for the first time, this direct route to New York is an opportunity to highlight the entire island tourist value chain, with one of the highest concentrations of five-star hotels in Europe.” Because the American traveler usually chooses to stay in a luxury floor. To this Castro adds that “this is the beginning of a path, to be concretized. We have to fill those vacancies and this job is the opening of a new opportunity ».
The CEO of Tenerife Tourism, David Pérez, specified that the outward journey Tenerife South-New York will take place Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, at 9:50 p.m., and the return trip, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, at 12:00 noon. He has explained the details of the negotiation and has also valued the support of the Secretary of State for Tourism, through Turespaña. He has stated that, to the intense promotional campaign coupled with the launch, he will be accompanied by “the opening of a new representative office for Tenerife in the destination.”
The United Airlines company plane will operate from June 9 with three weekly frequencies. It will do a Boeing 757, which has capacity for 169 people. Of these, 16 travel in Business Class. Pedro Martín recalled that “until now there has been a lot of talk about connecting the United States with Tenerife but there was nothing tangible, just a wish that had not materialized.” Martín has indicated that since before the Thomas Cook crisis, Turismo de Tenerife has worked in the search for new markets. You have mentioned that previous test to test the American carried out last December or the fact of having reached no less than 75,000 travel agents. Martín emphasizes that “this is the fruit of painstaking work to explain to a person who lives in New York that it takes them less time to come to Tenerife than to go, for example, to Hawaii.” The traditional market in the country is directed towards the Caribbean or Mexico, which are nearby, and the custom of not going too far on vacation prevails. The president of the Cabildo also highlights the importance that this new route will have for those who want to open new lines of business. In this sense, it recalls the many audiovisual companies already established in Tenerife that are generating jobs for the North American market.
Pedro Martín also highlighted that In the next winter season and specifically the next two months, the forecast is to exceed three million passengers. Likewise, data is already being handled for the first quarter of 2022, where it is expected to exceed four million. They are “hopeful” calculations that indicate the horizon of “a frank recovery of the market.” And, furthermore, that shows that “the work from Turismo de Tenerife has been successful.” David Pérez, for his part, announces that there are advanced talks for the state organs of the sector to support this new route through an intense promotion of the island destination on the east coast of the United States. Thus, next December the DTT company will be at the tour operator fair in San Diego (California). Likewise, a tender for a representative office will be held in New York.