President of Costa del Sol Tourism, Francisco Salado, at the World Travel Market in London this Tuesday. / SALVADOR SALAS

The Costa del Sol regains its pre-pandemic flight connectivity with the UK

In the coming months Malaga Airport will recover the routes with the 18 airports in the United Kingdom with which it was connected before the coronavirus health crisis

PILAR MARTÍNEZ

The commitment of the airlines and the improvement in air connectivity between the UK and the south of Spain is being seen as big step towards the full reactivation of the British travel market to the Costa del Sol.

The president of Costa del Sol Tourism, Francisco Salado, highlighted this Tuesday, 2 November, on the second day of the World Travel Market (WTM) in London that the forecasts for the next six months, specifically from 20 October to 19 April, “are extraordinarily positive” given an increase in air capacity of 573 per cent compared to the same period of the previous year, which represents nearly 900,000 passengers flying to coast.

"Extremely healthy"

Salado stressed that "connectivity with the United Kingdom in the coming months is extremely healthy" and gave as an example that London will have direct flights to Malaga on a daily basis in the period analysed, Manchester and Bristol almost daily - with flights daily on 90 per cent of the days and Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, and Liverpool that will offer direct flights to the Costa del Sol on 75 per cent of the days.

Salado said that Malaga Airport will have recovered all the connections it had with the 18 UK airports with which it was connected before the health crisis and one more with respect to the same period of the previous year.

Three-digit growth

The most outstanding thing is that on each of these routes the growth of the seats available is in three digits. Leading the ranking by volume of seats is London, followed by Manchester and Birmingham. In fact, according to data from the airport operator Aena, the capital of the United Kingdom is once again the city most connected to Malaga.

“The 897,786 seats on offer from the UK are operated by seven companies, one more than those that operated in the same period of the previous year, and all of them are increasing their capacity by three digits. Ryanair will consolidate its lead, followed by easyJet, Jet2.com and British Airways are the main companies by volume, each with more than 100,000 seats,” explained the head of Costa del Sol Tourism.

Bleisure travel

Salado also announced that the tourist board is already working on new market niches as well as the existing golf, sun and beach sectors and 'bleisure travel', a trip that mixes business with pleasure.

Both easyJet and Jet2.com have announced their growing commitment to Malaga. Jet2.com plans to fly to the Costa del Sol from ten airports in the United Kingdom and operate 58 flights weekly to Malaga airport next year.

easyJet has also announced an increase in the number of aircraft stationed at its seasonal base in Malaga from two to five, next summer.