12/09/2012 Lanzarote (BG) - The Lanzarote Tourism Board were left perplexed and angry after AENA recently announced they plan to reduce the opening hours of Lanzarote’s Arrecife Airport.
The decision has left many officials on the island confused as the airport was the fifth most profitable airport out of the 49 run by AENA in Spain during 2011. Carmen Steinert, Minister for Tourism claimed: “It’s a decision that reduces the competitiveness of the island, adding to the erroneous measures being implemented by the Ministry of the Public Sector”.
The reduction in opening hours will come into effect from November, although the specific opening hours were not outlined in the announcement. The Lanzarote Tourist Board revealed their dissatisfaction with the announcement claiming “It’s of no use opening new markets, when the regulations imposed on the infrastructure of our airport cannot provide the best possible coverage. The airport at Guacimeta needs to have more flexible hours, in order to meet long haul flights that require special conditions for their operation, covering possible delays when circumstances arise between the airlines”.
In a statement released by the Cabildo de Lanzarote, the decision to reduce the airports opening hours is being considered a serious obstacle for the development of tourism on the island. The introduction of ill advised measures such as increased air taxes, subsidy reductions and now a reduction in opening hours pose a significant threat to tourism on the Canary Islands.
Carmen Steinert later concluded by requesting the central government reflect long and hard on this decision as it may seriously harm the tourism industry, the one industry that can lead the islands out of recession and kickstart economic growth. She stated:”Airlines are looking to save operating costs, they will not hesitate to withdraw routes from the archipelago, if the current fiscal conditions are not maintained”.