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File image of the airport's flight check-in desks. Photo: SUR / Video: Pedro J. Quero
Air travel

Junta's tourism boss is confident Malaga Airport will boost its offer of long-haul connections with Asia, United States and Middle East within two years

A list of priority destinations and a target of 2025 have been set as Andalusian tourism officials look to improve the region's flight connections to the rest of the world

Pilar Martinez

Madrid

Monday, 29 January 2024, 14:40

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Malaga Airport is aiming to increase its offer of long-haul flight connections to Asia, the United States and Middle East within two years, it has been revealed.

At the Fitur International Tourism Fair 2024 in Madrid, regional minister for tourism Arturo Bernal said the gateway to the Costa del Sol had set a target of bolstering flight connections to the three continents by 2025. It is part of an air connectivity plan which aims to secure direct flights to Miami, Buenos Aires, Mexico, Dubai and Shanghai.

Officials are currently working on this, with the aim of increasing the number of plane seats on offer with Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East by 85%. "I am confident that Malaga Airport will see an improvement in this offer, as well as with the United States. The increase we expect in North America, including Canada, is 35% in this plan, and 8% with Europe and Spain," Bernal said.

"Of course Malaga is the main airport in the region, with more than 22 million passengers last year. It is better positioned than any other airport to achieve these objectives. But logically our commitment is to support all the airports in the region, including Cordoba, which has just been added to the Andalusian airport network. Each one of them must have its own mission with long or medium-haul flights depending on the markets that are mainly visiting these destinations," he added.

Malaga already has direct and daily connections with Istanbul and Canada throughout the year, and during the high season, will reinstate daily flights to New York and the capital of Qatar.

Bernal also pointed out sustainability as another major challenge for the region's tourism industry, with the drought posing many problems. "We have to work hand in hand with the private sector to resolve this challenge that we face in the coming months," he said. "Tourists and residents will not be affected by supply (water) cuts. We are cutting water in some municipalities at night to avoid leaks in the supply networks, which in some cases are significant and up to 20%," he added.

The Andalusian stand was judged the best of all the Spanish regions at Fitur 2024 in Madrid.
The Andalusian stand was judged the best of all the Spanish regions at Fitur 2024 in Madrid. Salvador Salas

The Junta's de Andalucía stand was awarded the best regional exhibitor at last week's major tourism fair in Madrid.

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