The ETF CAS SC condemns unfair practices of air operators in the context of the Canary Islands

8 Dec 2022

Las Palmas, 8 December 2022

The Civil Aviation Section (CAS) of the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) identified in its statement dated 19/10/2022 that “The aviation market is critical both socially and economically for all the countries of Europe”. This is even more critical for the eight outermost regions of the EU, which the Commission’s renewed strategy has also targeted for these regions, adopted on 3 May 2022.

The Steering Committee (SC) of ETF Civil Aviation Section (CAS) recognises that guaranteeing the right to fair access to air mobility to the population of the Canary Islands with mainland Spain requires the adoption of clear, fair, and socially considerate compensation measures that benefits all residents in the Canary Islands.

We welcome the compensation measures taken by the Spanish and Canary Islands Governments aiming to guarantee that the market satisfies the minimum frequencies in the different destinations, the minimum number of destinations and with referenced and flexible rates.

But, while inter-insular connections and their pricing are the competence of the central Spanish Government, the air connections between the Canary Islands and mainland Spain have been left to market forces to fix the prices. The ETF CAS believes that a lack of proper regulations has systematically failed to deliver for workers and citizens. This is currently happening in the air services market between the Canary Islands and mainland Spain, where no Public Service Obligations (PSO) are in place.

All the above have brought an undesirable effect: as there are no PSO or reference prices, the subsidies dedicated by the Spanish Government to reduce the price of air tickets for residents in the Canary Islands are not effective, as the discount percentages applied to airfares have been swallowed by the increase of the air tickets prices to the benefit of the air operators and not the benefit of the residents.

The ETF CAS SC, at the request of its Spanish member (CCOO), condemns the behaviour of the air operators involved in applying such an unfair increase that negatively affects every European citizen. They also call on the Spanish Government to apply similar PSO obligations to the airfares to mainland Spain as currently exists between inter-island services in the Canary Islands.