Air Nostrum will resume the route on March 26 at the express request of the Valencian government
The Valencian company Air Nostrum recovers the air route between Valencia and Barcelona, after years without air service between the second and the third capital of Spain. The first plane will start on March 26 and the intention is to get return flights the same day, company president Carlos Bertomeu announced at a press conference with the president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, and the Minister of Economy, Vicent Soler.
According to Bertomeu, it is a “risk bet”, since it is a “complicated route”: “Although it has volume, the average income is low.” Likewise, he has revealed that recovering this airline has been an express and repeated request of the Valencian government at a time when the railway connection is “deteriorated”. Puig stressed that it seems “unusual” that there is still no AVE (high speed train) between Valencia and Barcelona.
Bertomeu has said that the project is starting to walk and has not committed to give a daily number of flights, but has expressed its intention to make it possible to make the trip back and forth on the same day between the two cities. It has also committed to launch “specific flights to bring Catalans to the Fallas,” celebrations that take place in March.
At the same time, Ximo Puig has announced a subsidy line with Air Nostrum for “ecomarketing”: through an initial four-year agreement, the company’s planes will be “painted” with different cultural, festive and tourist motifs of the Valencian Which operates the company. In this way, Air Nostrum and the public company Society Thematic Projects (SPT) commit to invest 6 million euros each. The first year will decorate 20 aircraft progressively; The first will deal with the declaration of the Fallas as Intangible Heritage of Unesco. The promotion will change every year depending on what the Tourism Council determines.
Regarding the possibility that the aid could be interpreted as a subsidy to the route Valencia-Barcelona, the Valencian president has been forceful: “The Generalitat Valenciana is not going to subsidize that flight nor any”. Bertomeu has insisted that the new route and the tourism promotion campaign are “two absolutely separate issues”.
The president of Air Nostrum has framed Valencia-Barcelona flights in an attempt to boost inland tourism, which has decreased by 4% in the last year and is “the one that rises the average cost”, with trips of congresses and end of week. Likewise, it has announced that for this route the company will make a “selection of cabin crew of Valencian”.