There are only three scheduled commercial destinations this  winter from Reus Airport , London, Brussels and Eindhoven. All three are operated by Ryanair , which continues to reduce its presence in the Tarragona facilities outside the summer months. Since the winter season 2012-2013, the Irish low-cost airline has closed connections from the capital of Baix Camp, from seven to three, and eliminating all domestic routes -the Santiago de Compostela between the months of November and April. Administrations and institutions that comprise the Strategic Committee for the promotion of Reus airport had concerns over the loss of supply, but admit that it was foreseeable in a context of falling demand and to the airline’s strategy to concentrate its activities in the major airports like El Prat.

The winter season is already underway at the airport of Reus and start all suspicions confirmed: there are fewer flights than last year and disappear again national links. Suspicions because weeks ago from web Ryanair can only buy tickets to London (Stansted), Brussels (Charleroi) and Eindhoven. It is the only company that operates these months and offers 64,000 seats in the 338 scheduled flights to these three destinations until next April. There are six flights a week, one less than last winter, when Reus also connected with Frankfurt (Hahn). In 2012 there were up to seven routes, mainly to other destinations in the UK, although the year before the aerodrome of Baix Camp ran out activity Ryanair’s refusal to operate given the tug of war remained with the Government.

Less demand and strategy change
spokesmen confirmed Ryanair will continue operating from Reus Airport, but attribute the bid adjustment to a fall in demand. “E e are continually monitoring our operations and making decisions about routes based on our business performance, “replies the airline. The intent is “to continue to offer the lowest fares from the airport of Reus, both during the winter and summer of 2015”.

Meanwhile, governments and institutions as part of the Strategic Board Reus Airport connections see this loss as a lesser evil. “We knew we would suffer some adjustment by falling demand that has been experiencing in recent times and the company strategy of betting on major airports in the expense side, something that only happens in Reus or Girona, but in its international operations, “says Octavi Bono, manager of the Tourist Board of the Provincial Council of Tarragona.

According to Bono, “ensure minimal activity in Reus Airport in winter and it is a success”: “We take it for good considering the limited capacity of the demand.” Insists that it is not an exclusive situation of Tarragona facilities but there is a general change in strategy in the Irish company. “We do not hide that we will not favor,” said the head of the Tourist Board of the County Council which, however, recalls: “The current situation confirms that we succeed in our bid to attract charter flights when most did not believe in this niche “. The agents of the territory involved in the table also rely on the recovery in demand as a key factor to boost activity at the airfield.

In this sense, Octavi Bono makes a positive assessment of the summer season in Reus, who kept the 26 routes from the previous season and premiered some new features like the first connection between Reus and Moscow, which “has a ways to go” and “I hope to have continued long.” He also hopes to attract new entrants, which has been precisely the objective of the Board present at the World Travel Market in London, which has just been held in the British capital.

Search for new operators
Meanwhile, the delegate of the Government in Tarragona, Joaquim Nin, remember that the year CiU entered the Generalitat encountered an airport “no commercial activity in winter and the goal was reactivated soon,” although he admits that current strategies of companies not in the interests of facilities such as Reus and Girona, which were previously the only type concentrated supply low cost .

“Given the situation, do not close in winter and it is good news,” says Nin, who believes that efforts have to focus on finding more operators and “be more attractive to all levels of the equipment and its capabilities relating to fees and users face, territory selling well. ” Thus, the delegate highlighted the retention capacity of the area, ie, that more and more people flying to Reus for the night at the place and not as a bridge to get to Barcelona.

According to AENA, until September Reus Airport recorded more than 627,000 passengers, representing a decrease of 13% over the same period of 2013. During the first nine months of the year also decreased the number of operations, about 5 %. The Tarragona facilities maintained this 2014 26 tours last summer but there have been fewer users in the months of June, July and August the busiest airfield.

For the full story read the la Vanguardia