In previous editions of Local News I have
reported on the growing problem of getting a flight from Ibiza
to mainland Spain.
During the past two weeks, leading Spanish
airline companies such as Iberia, Spanair, AeBal and Air Europa
have announced their winter flight programme.
Staff and flights are all being drastically
reduced as a result of 11th September tragedies in America,
which have disrupted the world economy.
Direct flights joining the Balearic and
Canary Isles to mainland Spain during the winter period will
be few and far between.
Despite all appeals by the Govern balear
(Balearic Government) to the airline companies against their
decision, nothing could be said that would change their minds.
Air Europa Express decided on Monday 29th
October to cancel all turboprop aeroplanes, most of which
connected Ibiza to Palma throughout the winter season. They
have also reduced their staff by 10% (337 people).
Air Europa's temporary staff will also be
affected by the company's decision.
They have decided not to renew their work
contracts and drastically reduce their weekly timetable.
Air Europa Express staff in Ibiza will also
suffer the effects of the new decision as the company employs
eight people on a permanent basis and 22 temporary staff.
The Spanish work syndicate USO has recommended
Air Europa´s staff to denounce the company for modifying
a work contract as well as not informing them of their decision
until 12 hours before the reforming process began.
According to USO, Air Europa has broken
the law and in the near future could face large fines if they
don't rethink their decision.
After Air Europa´s negative decision
it´s nice to see that some companies are fighting against
the economical crisis.
Spanair announced on Monday 29th October
that they plan to stick to their winter timetable despite
the 11th September tragedies.
Spanair will offer a weekly service of 116
flights between Palma and Barcelona, 88 from Palma to Madrid
and 14 Palma-Alicante.
The Balearics have also been taken into
consideration with 24 weekly flights between Ibiza and Palma
and 32 joining Palma and Maó (Menorca).
The Govern balear are shocked by the airline
companies that have decided to cease connecting flights between
the islands and the peninsula, as over the years they have
got used to Spanish companies demanding more air space instead
The president of the Govern balear, Francesc
Antich, feels that the drastic number of flight reductions
will have a very negative effect on the Balearic economy.
The president now feels that it´s
necessary that "the airline companies be declared a public
service if we don't want to live through another crisis like
Pilar Costa, president of the Consell Insular
(Islands Council), also feels strongly about the situation:
"Aeroplanes are the fastest way of getting from Ibiza
to mainland Spain. In Spain you can travel by train but we
can't do that in Ibiza, planes are our motorways".
Antich also reiterated that it´s now
easier to fly to Germany than it is to mainland Spain, as
there are more direct flights.
On the other hand, direct flights to Germany
might not be available for much longer.
LTU, one of the leading charter airline
companies in Germany, have recently declared they are on the
brink of bankruptcy.
The company has fallen into an economical
crisis because of the situation with Swissair, who are LTU´s
largest shareholder, owning 49.9% of the company.
German banks and politicians have joined
forces in a bid to help the airline company.
The company has been offered 150 million
Euros, although this figure has yet to be approved by the
LTU would also have to follow a special
saving programme until 2004, which would mean cutting staffs
wages between 5 and 10%, if they choose to accept the money
from the German banks.
No Ecotasa Next Year Either
The ecotasa, tax to be paid by all tourists that travel to
Ibiza, has once again taken a back seat.
The new law was supposed to be functioning
by next season but, as a result of the 11th September tragedies,
has been cancelled once again.
The Govern balear has provisionally suspended
the ecotasa for one year despite receiving criticism from
the PP (Pacte Progressista) political party.
PP politician Joan Flaquer said: "The
Govern balear lack coherence in their decisions. First the
ecotasa was going to start functioning next year but now they
have changed their minds once again".
The Govern balear answered this strong criticism
by accusing them of being insensible and not considering the
uncertain future of the Balearic tourist industry after the
Vending Machine Fraud
Over the past few days, men employed by vending machine companies
have been wondering why there was so little money in their
They have since discovered the reason behind
this intriguing problem.
A group of men dressed as official employees
have been going round all establishments emptying the money
out of soft drink machines.
These "robbers" act out their
crime as naturally as possible. First of all they maintain
a conversation with the establishments manager or owner, then
they proceed to empty the machines of all money using a master
key. After this they say goodbye to the owner and leave as
if nothing had happened.
No one would notice anything unusual about
the situation until a few days or even hours later when the
official company employee arrives to find the machine empty
of all money.
The soft drinks machine company has since
revealed that there is nothing that can be done about the
problem and, as the vending machines are emptied on a regular
basis, they are not losing large amounts of money.
Thousands of people gathered on Sunday 28th October to witness
one of the biggest sporting events in Ibiza this year.
The ACP Gran Premi Unitec-Eivissa
Patrimoni' cycling competition reunited the most famous Spanish
cyclists, turning most of the island into a mini Tour de France.
More than 3,500 people gathered to see Óscar
Freire, Óscar Sevilla and Ángel Casero lead
the way to the top.
All the cyclists agreed that Ibiza is one
of the nicest places to hold a competition as the weather
conditions are so pleasant.
Maybe now that the cyclists have discovered
Ibiza, the island might be used on a more regular basis to
hold important sporting events such as this one.
Ix Trade Fair
Another important event on this week's calendar is the annual
trade fair at the Recinto Ferial (Ibiza's Fair and Exhibition
The "IX Feria de Muestras" has
combined 70 different businesses in 1,500 square metres.
Fifty-three of these businesses are from
Ibiza, one from Formentera, six from Palma, five from Barcelona
two from Madrid, one from Valencia and one from Bilbao.
Natural fragrances, heating systems, toys,
massage chairs, arts and crafts from Thailand, beer, wedding
dresses, makeovers and typical Ibicencan food stalls are all
present at the fair.
A stand from the leading furniture store
Ikea is definitely the star of the show, offering catalogues
in a bid to encourage people to buy via telephone and Internet.
More than 18,000 people passed through the
Recinto Ferial´s doors in last year's edition, proving
the huge success of the fair.
The trade fair will remain open from 11
o'clock in the morning until 10 o'clock at night from Thursday
1st November until Sunday 4th November, so if you get time
I highly recommend a visit.