The Tenerife-based startup presented at a press conference in February as Canarian Airways has been given a new name. The airline, a public-private partnership born out of the desire to safeguard connectivity in case of future airline bankruptcies, will be known as Lattitude Hub. Its goal is to commence operations by mid-June.
Latitude and attitude
Before anyone goes trigger happy in the comment section, the spelling of Lattitude is intentional. The airline says the name comes from a combination of the words latitude and attitude and represents an initiative committed to ‘Canarian society and destiny’. The new airline will commence flying with one single Airbus A319. However, the idea is to add one or two more aircraft by the end of the year.
“Lattitude Hub” sounds like a coffee joint – but who in his/her right mind would give an airline that name? Yet that’s how startup Canarian Airways from #Tenerife will be branded #TheCanarianAirline #avgeek pic.twitter.com/rj0VDnotri
— Andreas Spaeth (@SpaethFlies) May 6, 2021
It is looking to serve destinations such as Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, and Glasgow from its base at Tenerife South Airport (TFS). No official start date has yet been announced, but it is planned for the second half of June. On its social media channels, the carrier says it is revving up the engines and getting ready to go.
Estamos calentando motores y muy pronto podremos darles la bienvenida a bordo de esta nueva aventura en la que queremos embarcar con ustedes. ✈
— Lattitude Hub ES (@LattitudeHub_es) May 6, 2021
One of the companies behind the new airline, One Airways, is a wet lease operator who already held an Air Operator Certificate (AOC). It has put its head together with 14 local hoteliers and El cabildo de Tenerife to create a public-private partnership. It is also possible to book accommodations with the hotels directly through the airline’s website.
Earlier bankruptcies disrupted tourism
The ongoing crisis has all but decimated the tourism industry on the Canary Islands. In an interview with Routesonline from March this year, David Perez, CEO of the Tenerife Tourism Corporation, said that the new airline had been formed so as not to have the islands’ vital connectivity be at the mercy of the fate of other carriers on the other side of COVID.
“One million tourists are from Germany and about 100,000 are Austrians more or less. But this number of travelers was higher in the past—we’ve had problems with the bankruptcies of Niki, Germania, Air Berlin. All of this was crazy for us and we lost a lot of connectivity with Germany,” Perez stated.
Looking for more premium offerings
The bankruptcy of Thomas Cook also meant a massive blow to tourism on the islands. Before its insolvency in 2019, the tour operator represented about 30% of the total capacity, with important routes from Scandinavia, the UK, and Germany. While this gap was quickly filled by other airlines, there is concern that the premium segment catered to by the islands’ five-star hotels is left underserved.
“We also need more airlines with a business class product on board, because we have so many five-star hotels on the island. But that is not possible with LCCs like easyJet or Ryanair.”
What do you make of the new startup airline from the Canary Islands? Leave a comment below and let us know.