On January 31, a first presentation flight will be carried out between the ports of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and La Palma, in an exercise that aims to demonstrate “the viability of a Canarian project to revolutionise the inter-island transport system“
The company Surcar Airlines plans to reinstate the use of seaplanes in Spain from next autumn with routes in the Canary Islands aimed at a potential public of some 15,000 passengers, and which would link the capitals of the archipelago in journeys of just 30 minutes.
Surcar Airlines, the first Spanish seaplane airline, will thus resume the use of this means of transport in the Canary Islands, a region that already had a regular seaplane route with the British port of Southampton until the 1950s.
Seaplane transport is an instrument to improve connectivity, social cohesion and the development of the islands, as has been demonstrated in cities such as Copenhagen, Vancouver or Seattle, where seaplanes have been important agents of the regional transport system for more than 30 years old, says Surcar Airlines in a statement released this Thursday.
Surcar is an airline with majority Canarian capital, authorised by the Canarian Special Zone and created with the participation of Nordic Seaplanes, the only operator in Europe with a regular route in Denmark.
Its purpose, according to the company, is to improve connectivity between the islands with faster transport -30 minutes between Santa Cruz and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria- with more agile and more sustainable security controls, as it will save up to 30% on emissions simply by avoiding trips to the airport, he says.
The launch of Surcar is accompanied by a new regulation for this type of activity by the State Aviation Safety Agency (AESA), and a technical report commissioned from INTA -an organisation belonging to the Ministry of Defence- in which it is analysed: “The use of passenger seaplanes in the ports of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Safety and non-affectation of port traffic“.
The first operations, which will begin next autumn, will focus on the Santa Cruz de Tenerife-La Palma and Santa Cruz de Tenerife-Las Palmas de Gran Canaria routes and will target a consumer niche focused on the business traveller, who prioritises time over price, and tourist passengers during the weekends, some groups that are estimated to be around 15,000 passengers per year.
“It is a very exciting project for the entire team, because creating new experiences is always motivating, but above all it is the capacity that this entails bringing our islands closer together,” says Miguel Ángel González, director of Surcar, who also mentions the special support that has been received by the port authorities, who “at all times have shown their commitment to the project“.