SATA Azores and Binter Canarias will join code-sharing Boston (United States) and Toronto (Canada) with the Canary Islands, making a previous stop in the Azores.
Binter hopes to close by the end of the year its alliance with SATA to begin offering three weekly flights to Boston and Toronto in 2018 with a stopover in the Azores, which would open a tourist market to the Canary Islands that now has as main reference the beaches of the countries from the Caribbean.
“Binter has long had a good relationship with SATA. With them we share routes to Funchal (Madeira), Ponta Delgada (Azores) and also to Lisbon. So it was logical to go a little further and incorporate these two routes to the United States and Canada, “the director of Network and Partnerships of the Canarian airline, Jonay Lobo, told Efe.
SATA currently flies to Boston every day and three times a week to Toronto from the Azores, an archipelago located in the middle of the Atlantic that maintains historical relations with these two regions of North America (it is estimated that they are home to more Azorean emigrants than inhabitants have in these moments the islands).
The alliance that supports the two shared code routes of Binter and SATA is pending completion of all procedures and permits, but already has the support of the Canary and Azorean governments, whose presidents, Fernando Clavijo and Vasco Alves, analyzed their terms at the meeting they held in September.
The flight from Boston to the Canary Islands would take nine and a half hours and that of Toronto, 11 hours, in both cases counting the scale in the Azores.
Binter believes that, at first, many of the users of these routes will be from the Canary Islands that take advantage of the connection to get to know New England and Ontario, but they are also convinced that, once the promotion of the destination by the Canary Islands Government and the tourism sector, will be Americans who use it to travel to the archipelago.
His Director of Partnerships underlines that in these two areas of the United States and Canada there is a tourist very similar to that of the Nordic countries, which each month brings more than 200,000 visitors to the Canary Islands, especially during the autumn-winter season, when the islands they hardly have competitor in those markets in their radius of distance.
“They are tourists with very similar characteristics: they live in very cold places in winter, they usually take holiday periods of a week and look for sun and good temperature. Now they usually travel to destinations in the Caribbean, from Boston and Toronto it takes four to five hours by plane, “says Lobo.
This director of Binter recalled that, at this time, the Nordic tourist who chooses the Canary Islands is at a similar distance, about six hours of flight, so it is considered feasible to convince the residents of these two areas to try to visit another destination nine hours from your house.
“In the European market, the Canary Islands do not have a clear competitor at the moment. It does exist here, it is the Caribbean. But I understand that the Canary Islands can offer a citizen of Boston or Toronto almost everything that the Caribbean has and many different things, “he argues.
Binter thinks that the two routes have potential. In fact, if the welcome is positive, the airline is ready to reinforce with its aircraft the Canary Islands-Azores links that SATA already operates so that the offer of flights to Boston from the islands becomes daily.
The airline, which has launched an offer to fly from Gran Canaria to Boston for 250 euros per trip and Toronto for 287 euros per trip, allows flights from Gran Canaria to Boston on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with a total flight duration of 9 hours and 30 minutes, including the one-hour waiting time at the Ponta Delgada airport.