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.

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  1. People need to realize that the era of cheap (carbon based fuel) aviation will soon be over. Its better Granada loses the air link now rather than later when the campo and sierra within a 45 minute drive of the airport is littered with cheap, poorly designed villas built as retirement homes and holiday retreats. Curtailing air pollution is currently a major European Union issue and aviation pollution is currently a mainstream political issue in the UK. This issue is not a passing fad that will disappear as the data is supported by Europe’s top scientists and is starting to be recognized by many main stream politicians. If the increase in price per barrel of crude doesn’t curtail cheap airline growth then political pressure, government legislation and high taxation on aviation fuel may just do it. If the residents of these new developments cannot regularly return to their country of origin cheaply and conveniently then I foresee these numerous, hastily sprung up developments becoming future ghettos, their previous owners long gone and mourning the loss of their dream investment opportunity.

  2. I used to fly LGW to GRX twice a week. I worked at LGW and live closer to Granada than Malaga. The simple reason for curtailing the service was just lack of traffic.

    Flying an Airbus at anything less than 80% capacity just does not work economically. If you want the service back then all you need is around 150 people to fly both ways 3 times a week and its done. There are just not enough of us to make the service viable.

    As for Antequera I cant see that working as there is at present just too much capacity on the costa del sol routes.The investment to start a new base is considerable. Just for a couple of flights a week 500,000 Euros would not be out of the question. Ryanair will probably jump in initially if there are subsidies going but you can bet your life they will quit as soon as the funding goes as they have in Granada. The low cost model works well when there is volume.

    I work for a British airline serving Malaga and we would fly to Granada like a shot if we could fill aircraft. Flying empty planes does not make money!

  3. A “mass exodus of airlines” = P U L E A S E !!

    There are only 2.5 airlines currently working there already, 2 of which are basically domestic.

    The staff needs waking-up before a plane approaches, as this heaving of adrenaline is such a rarity that it is hardly noticeable.

    The granada authorities know only too well the financial impact that their dreadful attitude towards the airport and the tourist traffic has caused, and guess what? they don’t care…

    Far more important is to spend 800 million euros on a totally unnecessary metro line..

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