On October 27 we informed that Volotea would open up to 5 bases in Spain. The first one was expected for the north of the country, either in Bilbao, Santander, Vigo or Asturias. Last week Carlos Muñoz, CEO of Volotea, confirmed to ElComercio.es that Volotea chose Asturias for the first base in Spain. The low cost airline will start to base its aircrafts there in May. Nevertheless, they will offer flights during Christmas this year – on the 19, 23, 26 and 30 of December – to Palma de Mallorca. On April 3 they will start operations with 2 weekly flights to Valencia.
After this first destination, they will start Alicante (on May 19), Seville (May 21), Ibiza (May 30), Menorca (May 31) and Palma de Mallorca and Málaga (both on June 1). “But it will be in May when we will have our own base, which means that a plane has a layover in Asturias. Moreover, this will create 40 jobs”. Furthermore, 2 more controllers will have to arrive to the ATC tower for the Asturias airport opening time extension.
Muñoz insisted that these will not be the only routes. “There will be others”, mainly international destinations. Thus, the expected route with Munich, which should be starting in March, is left hanging. And the same happens with the flights to Italy, where Volotea has two bases: Venecia and Palermo.
The new base in Asturias airport might be the first step towards new competition for Iberia in Madrid. In spite of the fact that Volotea does not operate from Madrid at the moment, a deal with Air Europa is expected. If that happened, Volotea would begin operations Asturias – Madrid in order to feed passengers to Air Europa. This might be a way for the Government of Asturias to compensate Air Europa after losing the tourist advertising tender for 7.7 million Euros. With this tender, the Government aimed to consolidate the current four daily services with Madrid, but the tender was finally awarded to Iberia, in a joint venture with Air Nostrum, Vueling, Alsa and El Corte Inglés. Volotea is now expected to go through another public tender in order to get 4 million Euros of support for the new base in Asturias. This support would come mainly from the Government of the Autonomous Community, but from different city councils as well.
Interested in Corvera
In other news, LaVerdad.es informed on Sunday that Carlos Muñoz said it is likely that Volotea will operate to Corvera as soon as the situation there is solved. The latest news about that informed that Aena might be interested in the management of the new Murcia airport. Volotea has ruled out the possibility of operating in the other airport in Murcia, San Javier.
We are interested in Murcia and we will analyse Corvera as soon as they confirm that the airport is operational. Alicante and Murcia are similar. I see potential for development in Alicante and in Murcia too.
Photo: Boeing 717-200 Volotea Airlines EI-EXI by russavia / Wikimedia Commons