Europe

Reus Airport recovers Easter flights

After two blank years, Reus Airport will recover Easter flights in 2022. At least two of the largest companies, Ryanair and Jet2, have scheduled operations in the capital of Baix Camp for these holidays, a period in which no planes have taken off since 2019. In fact, if there are no setbacks, the airlines will begin to move passengers even earlier: Dublin, Eindhoven, Liverpool and Manchester are, to date, the earliest connections, with a launch date scheduled for March 27.

It will be just then when the tourist season will officially start – which always starts coinciding with the time change – on the weekend of 27-28. Hoteliers and taxi drivers hopefully await the “reactivation, at last” of the aerodrome, also very aware of the Russian market, whose recovery seems to be delayed compared to the rest.

At the moment, Ryanair markets flights to a dozen destinations with Reus. Sources of the company consulted indicate that, despite not having the list of routes by airports, those offered on its website are very likely the ones that will exist. In turn, Jet2 sources specify that “we currently have six weekly flights for sale for Easter” and that these coincide with “Belfast, on Sunday; Birmingham, on Saturday; Glasgow, on Sunday; Leeds, on Saturday; Manchester, on Saturday; and Newcastle, on Saturday.

Doing a quick count through what is available ‘online’, spanning between Friday April 8 and Monday 18, there would be around 150 planned movements, about 75 landings and 75 takeoffs, although Aena must provide the most reliable data when Easter approaches.

Interest in connecting with Ukraine

“We trust that this is going to be the year of general recovery,” says Xavier Guardià, president of the Tarragona Business Federation of Hospitality and Tourism (FEHT), who specifies that “the British market will return and we were waiting for the Ukrainian and to Russian, which at the moment are a great unknown. The Airport lost links with Russia with the outbreak of Covid-19. The last one he had was Moscow-Sheremetyevo, which Nordwind opened and retired in the summer of 2019.

In the current war context, “we will see what happens” because “precisely some initiatives had already been carried out because there were some tour operators interested in connecting Ukraine and Reus, taking into account that the Ukrainian was an expanding market”. On the other hand, “it is also true that before the invasion there were already doubts about Russia because there is a very low vaccination rate and because their Sputnik is not approved in Europe, and they need a visa to leave while in Ukraine it is not necessary. », specifies Guardià, who says that «in a pre-pandemic year, the invasion would have been terrible but now the impact is less because we no longer counted as much». Despite everything, the war “complicates more” the arrival of the profile that used to represent 50% of tourism in the province.

For their part, taxi drivers face Easter as a kind of “pre-season”, because “it used to mean a warm-up of what summer was going to be” and “we anticipate that the one to come will be a more or less normal season”. The activity of the Airport “is our engine, it is our heart, tourism can be 60% of the turnover for the whole year”, specifies the president of the Reus Taxi Association, David Martínez, who says that “sometimes, On the grid at the Airport, if there is perhaps a flight from a destination that goes very well like Dublin, we can have up to 30 cars prepared».

As for races, “most of the transport we do to Salou, Cambrils and La Pineda, which are about 70%, and we also go to the train station to connect with Barcelona.” This year, “we receive it with great enthusiasm but with great caution because we have already been able to verify several times that from one moment to the next everything can go wrong without warning.”

On the other hand, in Reus hotels, the course of the Airport does not have a relevant impact. Magdaleno Pareja, representative of the local sector in the Associació d’Empresaris d’Hostaleria de Tarragona (AEHT), comments that «in the city we don’t have clients who come on flights; We would like there to be a vacationing public that would arrive with the planes, but the model is not like that, at least today». Regarding hotel occupancy forecasts in Reus, apart from the aerodrome, “at Easter, a lot has always gone at the last minute and at the moment we have few reservations, as was the case in normal times, because it is still very early”.

The high season at Reus Airport is shaping up, at the moment, with 33 scheduled routes between Ryanair, Jet2, TUI and Air Nostrum. The latter will allow the aerodrome to maintain national connections for the second summer in a row, through its link with Mallorca. The airline will also offer the possibility of traveling with the same ticket from Reus to Menorca and Ibiza, making a simple stopover in Palma. Both Ryanair –which expects to reach 400,000 passengers– and Jet2 have been announcing over the last few weeks peaks in ticket sales linked to the improvement in Covid data, which invites us to think of a positive campaign.

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