7am connection is substituted for a later one · Reactions
JEREZ Just as the refurbished airport at Jerez was coming into bigger through passenger numbers, Iberia decided to cut the most popular of flights between a neglected corner of Andalucía and the nation's capital. The airline said that while it was apopular flightn in the mornings, 'it arrived empty at night, and stayed overnight,' and incurred expensive hotel rooms for the crew. Aurelio Romero, the PP Deputy for the area, said that he did not accept Iberia's excuse and although he and others had done 'everything possible to get the airline to change it's mind, we cannot impose commercial criteria on a private company.' The politician's statement went on to add that <<
this was a temporary measure, only for the winter, and the line would once more be covered by Air Nostrum and Iberia Express.'
For her part, Socialist Deputy Mamen Sánchez said that the loss of the province of Cádiz's most viable flight would be felt by many. As an example she sais that 40% of personnel from Rota uses the flight to make connections for flights to the US 'because you could be in Madrid by 9am. Now there is nothing but to take the AVE train or a flight the night before, which means spending the night at the other end - very inconvenient and expensive.'
But worse than that, Sánchez was concerned for the airport staff, who would be affected by almost an entire shift, and could mean redundancies 'at a crucial time' for the province.
The president of the provincial hotel and restaurant owners organization, HORECA, Antonio de María, agrees that the lack of a connection with Madrid at this time of year was something the central government ought to take measures about. "The airline is eliminating a service that is strategic for this region; tourists used the flight to make international connections in Madrid, and others to do business in the capital." Substituting this flight for a later one means that one can only be operative in Madrid from midday. "It is discriminatory that the province with thje highest unemployment rate in Europe should be so ill served," he added.