Wednesday, November 03, 2010

 

Vueling in - Ryanair out!

So the Xunta have offered the Ryanair routes to Vueling!

I have never even heard of this supposed “low cost” airline and I doubt that many other flyers have and, if they have, it is not a name that easily falls off the tongue.

The problem now is a simple one. The Xunta, along with the various “so called” international airports it controls, will have lost all credibility with not only Ryanair, but every other “significant” carrier.

In a world where more and more destinations are vying for cheap flights and the business that they bring, Galicia has established itself as a region that serious airlines will not wish to waste their time with.

Every business, whatever its nature, wants to establish long term partnerships with the other entities with which it has to cooperate. Galicia has now made it clear that commercial considerations, the interests of visiting fare paying passengers and it own tourism industry do not weigh heavily in these negotiations. Would you want to deal with them?

Furthermore, it is limiting overseas carriers to a single “favoured” company - why not have several.

Jet2 considered Galicia as a destination 4 or 5 years ago, Easyjet have also looked at these routes, and Ryanair “were” interested in continuing. So why such a ludicrous attitude! It beggars belief.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

 

Galicia and Ryanair

As is always the case with anything in Galicia in which politicians get involved, the stalemate between Ryanair and the Xunta has now been superseded by infighting between the various political and provincial factions in the region. As ever, this will bring the real issue to a halt and it will probably not be revisited again until long after Ryanair have moved on. Indeed, Ryaniar are already announcing new routes and schedule changes, so it would seem that the “Galicia issue” is something that they have already dismissed and moved away from.

Despite this, the Xunta will no doubt continue its air traffic debates as proposals are put together for a Galicia-wide air and airport traffic policy that, like everything else in Galician politics, will never see the light of day.

Ultimately this is yet another missed opportunity for this politically and economically “oblivious” regional government. I really believe that if the EU were to give them a billion euro hand out on the condition that they accept it within 7 days, the infighting over who should “officially” receive the money would result in them forfeiting it.

The maddening thing is that the tiny amount of money requested by Ryanair would bring tens of millions of euros into the region. This “tourist” cash would benefit hotels, bars, shops, tourist attractions and even the airports themselves.

Elsewhere in Spain and other parts of Europe, the regional governments and councils are almost bidding against each other to get budget airlines to use their airports, yet in Galicia they alienate them. The even more surprising thing is that a great number of the Galician population go along with this.

Astoundingly (according to a regional newspaper), even those whose livelihood is dependant upon tourism seem to think that paying a foreign airline to bring them customers and generate revenue for their businesses is a bad thing.

Ultimately, in cultural and lifestyle terms Galicia has long wanted to distance itself from the rest of Spain. It claims a Celtic ancestry, it has a green and temperate climate and now it is isolating its air borders from the rest of the world too. But who is the beneficiary of this kind of action?

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