THE VALENCIAN COMMUNITY’S new Tourist Minister Nuria Montes has said she is ‘sure’ that the region will get a direct air link between New York and Valencia airport.
Montes added that her ministry is working to ensure that the new route will be operational next summer and has not ruled out that ‘one or several’ companies could provide a service from ‘one or more’ airports in the region.
That clearly refers to Alicante-Elche airport with politicians led by the recently installed regional president Carlos Mazon, having discussions with interested parties at January’s Fitur tourism fair in Madrid.
The regional tourist ministry has been talking to Delta Air Lines over a New York link to Valencia but it has been revealed that other carriers are more than welcome to fly to the region.
“In the end the idea is that one or more connections can be established because there is enough demand for everyone,” Nuria Montes said.
The Valencian Community lags behind other tourist hotspots like Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and Tenerife who all have US connections.
Nuria Montes said: “Obviously flights have to be put on by the airlines, but we believe that there is a lot of interest and demand with many conditions to make it possible.”
She added that the US tourism market is ‘expanding towards Europe right now’ and that ‘all flights from North America to the main European destinations come with very high occupancies’.
Montes also pointed out that in Valencia City, despite not having a direct air connection, American hotel stays accounted for over 11% of market share- surpassing Italians, Dutch, and British who ‘were the nationalities that dominated in the city’.
A reverse benefit of any new North American routes will be the chance for Valencia region residents to take a transatlantic break themselves.