Call for Government to make public statement on Andalus

There has been a call for the Government to make a public statement on the Andalus situation, with the PDP recalling that the Government took part in a high profile launch of the airline's routes to Gibraltar, so it must be aware of the reasons for the present situation.

"While the Government participated in a high profile launch of Andalus' airline routes to Gibraltar it is clear that the future of the airline's Gibraltar presence has been in doubt for some time," they said. "Several months ago there was a public falling-out between Andalus and the Government over the marketing assistance that the airline alleged it had been promised by Government. Now it seems that the airline is involved in legal action that has in effect led to the cancellation of Gibraltar flights.

Presumably through its own contact with the airline the Government is aware of the situation." It should now make a public statement to make clear whether this is a shortterm and surmountable problem or whether it will lead to the withdrawal of the airline from Gibraltar.

They added: This is the problem with the Government's airlines policy. It can hardly attract any big players to Gibraltar. When it does, like in the case of Iberia, it cannot create the conditions for these to stay. It is left to negotiate and announce fringe players in the airline industry. PDP leader Keith Azopardi said: "The Government is prone to announce the arrival of these with great fanfare but sheepishly ignore any subsequent problems as if they had nothing to do with them. The Government cannot have it both ways. It cannot take the credit for the airline but then shirk the problems." He adds: If it is trying to ferment the idea in the public mind that its policy has led to the arrival of Andalus then it should be clear about the action it is taking to ascertain the problems the airline is encountering. The Progressive Democratic Party is not suggesting that Government use tax payers money to bail out airlines in difficulty but at the very least it should make clear what it knows about the situation given the investment the tax-payer has indirectly made in the venture and so as to better inform consumers.

On a wider level this latest episode once again calls into question the rationale of pouring tens of millions of pounds into an airport terminal and the timing of this project when we do not have more flights and when there are many other social or infrastructure projects which would have a better impact on the quality of life of citizens, said the PDP.

30-03-10



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