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Opposition is clutching at straws on air routes – 288/2021

By April 14, 2021 No Comments

The Opposition continues to desperately clutch at straws in order to justify the negative approach it has taken on the question of air services to and from Gibraltar. There can be no doubt that the general public must now be as fed up as the Government at the endless stream of ridiculous nit-picking that is coming from the Opposition benches.

They fail to understand that new routes are announced by airlines and not by the Government. It is customary, however, for these airlines to ask for a quote from the Minister for Tourism to include with their media. Therefore, the new route to London City Airport was announced by BA CityFlyer and the proposed route to Bilbao was announced by Volotea. In all cases airlines are asked to ensure that they have the relevant permits and consents.

The plain fact is that Gibraltar airport will be served by more airlines to more destinations than ever before. This in turn, subject to the pandemic, is expected to bring in more air passengers to Gibraltar by air than before. All this is very good news for our hotels, our tourism industry, our economy and for everyone.

Gibraltar will be served by flights to London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Luton, London City, Manchester, Birmingham, Southampton and Edinburgh. This represents more destinations to the UK than ever, with three completely new routes to Southampton, London City and Edinburgh and three new airlines being Wizz Air, Eastern Airways and BA CityFlyer. Clearly, Mr Bossino and the Opposition do not understand that BA CityFlyer is a wholly owned subsidiary of British Airways, that operates absolutely and completely separately as an entity. The airline has its own management team and structure, its own route network, its own base at London City Airport and its own fleet. This is just one airline of a group with common ownership which, for example, also includes Iberia.

The Minister for Tourism, the Hon Vijay Daryanani said: “It therefore defies all logic that the Opposition should continue harping on about air routes when Gibraltar has never had it so good in this department. The existing situation, again subject to the pandemic, has the makings of a success story for Gibraltar as a whole. Mr Bossino and the Opposition should stop being so miserable and be happy at what this good news represents for us all.

“The truth is that the GSD’s latest statement shows that the Opposition have no knowledge of the subjects that they choose to criticize the Government about. Thankfully, our people and the industry at large can see through this political posturing and will be embarrassed at the damage that the GSD are doing to Gibraltar. In a desperate attempt to score cheap political points, Mr Bossino is simply trying to stay relevant and to promote his weak leadership aspirations at the expense of Gibraltar.

“However, people will see through all of this and recognise the excellent work that the Government is doing to achieve unprecedented connectivity at Gibraltar International Airport. The GSD Opposition and Mr. Bossino should concentrate on getting their house in order, sorting out their internal leadership rivalries and leave the serious matter of running Gibraltar to the Government.”