AIRLINES have been harshly criticised for increasing fares between the Balearic Islands and mainland Spain by over 200%.
The Association of Consumers in the Balearic Islands (CONSUBAL) has warned of the ‘outrageous’ and ‘wild’ increases on flight prices since the country entered a ‘new normality.’
Carrying out a price comparison, the consumer organisation detected that routes have been increased by up to 225% from the same period last year.
For example, a return flight between Palma de Mallorca and Granada for three adults with a resident discount had cost €84.75 before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The same route with the exact conditions has now soared to €184.77.
Noting the alarming hikes, its President Alfonso Rodriguez revealed that he has sent a letter to the Balearic Government demanding an immediate intervention on the ‘immoral abuse of airlines.’
These accusations have been backed by the Business Association of Balearic Travel Agencies (AVIBA) who also condemn the ‘obvious increases in fares.’
Chairman Francesc Mulet stated that companies ‘are taking advantage of those who want to travel to the Peninsula’, where the average increase exceeds 50%.
This he said is being carried out by Iberia, Air Europa, Vueling and Ryanair.
According to AVIBA, from June 21 to July 5, these airlines increased their fares progressively, taking advantage of the fact that the frequency of flights is lower and that demand is growing now the state of alarm has come to an end.
Mulet however warns that the airlines are playing with fire using these practices as will have an overall negative consequence, ‘reducing the demand and thus damaging air connectivity itself.’
In response to the allegations, the Minister of Mobility, Marc Pons, has acknowledged that ‘companies are attempting to recover losses by applying prices higher than normal.’
Pons assured that the autonomous government is currently in discussions with the General Directorate of Civil Aviation as the increases are ‘extremely worrying.’
Aimed at boosting the number of flights in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Spain’s public airport management company AENA announced that other costs for airlines would also be cut or postponed.