Since the announcement of the 75% travel discount for residents of The Canary Islands, which came into effect at midnight on Wednesday, bookings have gone through the roof on all inter-island routes, with the unusual comparison being proffered in Spanish language daily La Provincia that it is now cheaper to fly from Gran Canaria to Tenerife than it is to visit the capital Las Palmas by bus from Mogán.
Spending the day in Tenerife is suddenly a prospect well in reach for normal working Canarians and residents of the islands.
Following the entry into force of the new state subsidised 75% discount, for residents, on air and boat tickets covering inter-island routes, these options are even cheaper than to travel across the island by bus. If Canary Islands’ residents purchase an airline ticket between the two provinces in the archipelago, Las Palmas to Santa Cruz, from the cheapest deals currently available, they will spend just €7.79 (taxes included) compared to the €8.75 euros that it costs to go by bus from Mogán to the main Las Palmas bus station, San Telmo.
Over the first two days the new grant has been available, Canaries’ residents have been delighted to find that travelling between islands is no longer a huge drain on their pockets. The barrage of purchases recorded by the airlines and shipping companies operating throughout the Archipelago has made this clear. Ticket processing was slowed by the extraordinarily strong demand, which far exceeded the expectations of passenger transport companies, who recorded significant sales records.
Flying between Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura costs, at the cheapest rates, as little as €7.79, whereas taking the bus from the Fuerteventura capital Puerto del Rosario to the popular southern sands of Morro Jable costs €10, which is the same amount a resident can buy a ticket by ferry from Agaete on Gran Canaria to Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
The airlines and ferry operators reported on Friday that their booking system activity had returned to normal after a massive increase in bookings during the first 24 hours of the subsidy becoming available. Inter-island airline Binter say they sold 10,500 tickets. Six times their normal daily sales. Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and La Palma were favourite destinations, with their website seeing 130,000 visits, an unusually high volume that led to the collapse of their digital sales portal due, according to the company run by Pedro Agustín del Castillo, to the “limited capacity” of the Amadeus reservation system.
Canaryfly sold 10,086 seats, 620.43% more than in a typical day (1,400). The commercial director of the airline, Carli Monzón, said that the launch of the new subsidy generated “that feeling of open sales”. Monzón pointed out that the level of purchases on the second day remained 300% above the volume of transactions recorded on Friday of the previous week.
Fast ferry operator, Fred.Olsen, by Thursday afternoon had already registered a 30% increase in sales, and Naviera Armas say they returned to calm after a massive increase in purchases on the first day with the company claiming much higher than usual numbers of visitors to their web pages .