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7th April 2021, 20:56

Government says GSD Opposition 'making mountain out of a molehill' on proposed Gibraltar & Bilbao air connection

The Government says the GSD Opposition is making a mountain out of a molehill on the proposed air connection between Gibraltar and Bilbao.

It says when Volotea asked the Tourism Ministry whether Gibraltar would support such flights the answer given was that the Government had no objection.

After that the airline was asked to obtain all the necessary permits and consents - a matter, it says, for the airline.

The Minister for Tourism Vijay Daryanani says when in in office the GSD once trumpeted flights by an airline that did not even exist.

He says the Government is of the view that Gibraltar’s main market for tourism by air remains the United Kingdom and this is where it will continue to concentrate its efforts. There are presently no flights between Gibraltar and the European Union. The Government says the last air connection with Spain followed the 2006 Cordoba agreement and it remains to be seen whether any treaty which sets out the future relationship of Gibraltar with the EU actually includes aviation or not.

Mr Daryanani said Gibraltar’s UK route network continues to expand, with new destinations including Southampton, Birmingham, London Luton and Edinburgh – all subject to the evolution of the pandemic. He said Gibraltar has never had such an extensive network of airlinks to the UK. He believes the influx of safe tourism this summer is most likely to be from the UK.