File image. / AFP

Junta confident that more direct flights between Andalucía and USA will be on the way soon

United Airlines has already announced that its new route between Malaga and New York will be launched on 31 May 2023 and continue all summer until the end of September

Pilar Martínez
PILAR MARTÍNEZ MADRID.

Negotiations with airlines to expand connections between Andalucía and the United States - specifically, to Miami and Houston - are on the right track, revealed the Junta de Andalucía’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Arturo Bernal, speaking exclusively to SUR during the last day for tourism professionals at the Fitur international travel fair in Madrid last week.

What's more, Bernal said, “I think we are going to have results soon because obviously when we have the first window open, such as the route from Malaga to New York, the interest of other airlines will be aroused and [they will] consider moving here. I think we can be satisfied with the work that has been done so far, but we are talking in a discreet tone and I think we must continue to do that."

Vídeo. Arturo Benal, Tourism Minister of the Junta de Andalucía talks about new direct flights to the United States. / SALVADOR SALAS | VIDEO: PEDRO J. QUERO

Bernal explained that Asia Pacific, Central Asia, the Middle East and especially North America markets "are the great areas in which we have to have development and, of course, connectivity associated with that development".

But he pointed out, “We are looking for long-term relationships, aware that in the first years that we make these efforts we are not going to have the expected returns in Asia and the Pacific, but it is true that whoever strikes first, strikes twice. We have to have that top position in those markets as soon as possible. It is not possible to think that by magic we are going to have a direct flight with China, Singapore or Malaysia. The airlines need to have a flow of travellers who want to visit our region.”

Previously, in an interview with SUR, Bernal outlined the Junta’s new strategy of merging tourism with culture and sport and to conquer the more distant markets.

In the field of culture, Bernal indicated that in the coming weeks he will announce projects "that will impress the public and the entire ecosystem that makes up tourism, culture and sport".

Regarding sport, he pointed out that if 140 high-level events were held last year, in 2023 there will be 150, including the Solheim Cup and the Davis Cup final. “With all this. Andalucía is always in the mind not only of Spain but of the world. Every two and a half days there is going to be a major sporting event in Andalucía and that generates a great awareness of the brand,” he added.

The Andalusian pavilion at last week’s Fitur travel fair was expected to exceed the 31,000 professional visitors recorded in 2019, with more than 4,000 scheduled meetings. On Saturday it also welcomed families who wanted to learn more about the region's offer.