AFP

Costa del Sol tourist chiefs to work on new markets in North America

The planned move comes after the recovery of direct flights to the United States was described as "a great opportunity for Andalucía"

FRANCISCO JIMÉNEZ/PILAR MARTÍNEZ

The Costa del Sol tourism industry has welcomed the announcement by United Airlines that direct flights between Malaga and New York will resume next year. The new route will be launched on 31 May 2023 and it will continue all summer until the end of September. This is the seasonal route which Malaga lost in 2019 when Delta Airlines stopped flying from Malaga to JFK airport. Now, these new flights will use Newark airport.

Welcoming the move and new opportunities, the regional minister for tourism Arturo Bernal said the sector's next objective is to make the airlink a permanent year-round offering and, in addition, to expand horizons to other points in North America, targeting US airports such as Houston and Miami, as well as setting its sights on Canada.

“The direct connection with different airports in the USA and Canada is vital to successfully implement Andalucía's strategy of accessing better target markets with longer stays and spending capacity,” Bernal said.

The minister added that the development “is a great opportunity for tourism in Andalucía and is also a recognition of the work of many people”.

Javier Hernández, vice-president of the hotel association Aehcos, said: "For us it is very positive to have this connection again because, although in principle it is for the high season, it can be the beginning of a recovery of the long distance markets, which is so necessary to complement the national and European tourist visitors.”