British consulate asks ex-pats to lobby budget airline Monarch
FEARS have broken out over a mass exodus of airlines from Granada-Jaen Airport.
While the Junta de Andalucía accuses city authorities of a “lack of support” for the terminal, work is set to begin on a rival airport in nearby Antequera.
Now, the regional government has enlisted the help of the Honorary British Consul Diana Kelham in a bid to save the airport.
This follows Monarch’s decision to pull its Gatwick-Granada service last year, as exclusively revealed by the Olive Press.
Citing “economic reasons,” the cancellation angered many British residents, with some even considering moving away from the area.
Ms Kelham is asking British residents to lobby the budget airline as the Junta fights to get the popular Gatwick service reinstated by the summer.
“I think Monarch’s pull out was disastrous for not only the many British people who had invested in the area but Granada on a whole,” she said.
Asking for letters of support from the ex-pat community, the honorary consul claims tourism in the area has been severely affected.
“I have spoken to many hotel owners who have told me that numbers of British tourists are down,” she told the Olive Press.
But now, a continued lack of financial support from Granada City Hall is jeopodising other low cost services, claims the Junta.
“City officials need to back the airlines using the airport or risk losing more services,” the regional government representative in Granada, Antonio Martínez-Caler, said.
The Junta believes low cost airlines will instead switch to Antequera.
Work on the private airport in the Málaga town is expected to begin this summer if it receives the backing of central government. Just 45 minutes from Granada, it will have a runway of 3.7 kilometres and parking for 500 cars.
“There are real fears that this new airport will attract flight companies away from Granada,” Caler added.
Currently, Ryanair flies into the city from three UK destinations while several Spanish airlines operate a number of low cost, short haul flights.
Even though the Irish airline has cancelled its Frankfurt service from Granada, it has promised expats it has no immediate intentions of pulling out entirely from the airport.
“Although Antequera will be very interesting for us, it does not necessarily mean we will cancel our Granada flights in favour of the new airport,” a spokesman for the low cost airline said.
Send your emails in support of Granada-Jaen Airport to the Olive Press and we will make sure they are passed on to Monarch. Write to: [email protected]