Concern in tourist industry as Costa's only direct flight to the US is cancelled for 2020

New York check-in desk.
New York check-in desk. / SUR
  • Delta Air Lines has been running the summer connection between Malaga and New York for 11 years

The Costa del Sol has lost its only direct daily flight to the United States after eleven years.

Delta Air Lines, that has operated a flight once a day in high season to New York, says it won't be flying from Malaga Airport next year.

There was consternation among politicians and tourist chiefs when Delta made its announcement this week. The news was particularly disappointing as it had been widely expected that the airline would decide to run its daily flights year-round and the Costa had only just come away in buoyant mood for 2020 from this month's World Travel Market.

The mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, heavily criticised state airport operator, Aena, and asked for "more support and commitment to Malaga". He added that Delta Air Lines had received a report from the council in 2018 which showed that there was a good level of interest for the daily flights being extended to run year-round.

The direct link to New York is seen as a sign to the market of the attractiveness of the Costa del Sol destination to higher- spending American visitors.

Director of the Marbella Club hotel, Juan Carlos Luna, explained he was surprised by the move as the market from the US was growing 20 per cent a year.

However the regional minister for Tourism, Juan Marín, was more relaxed, "Perhaps it isn't profitable or they have other destinations or strategies," he said.