the reasons for his return to Spain 65 years after his last commercial flight

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The last time a passenger seaplane crossed the skies and seas of Spain, man had not yet set foot on the Moon, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King were alive and the promoters of the French May were children. It was in 1957, on a flight operated by the British company Aquila Airways that connected Southampton and Gran Canaria with intermediate stops in Lisbon and Funchal, the capital of Madeira. Now, almost 65 years later, these striking aircraft will return to our country to connect Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.


The project. The idea of ​​the promoters of this project is to connect the capitals of the Canary Islands more quickly. Currently, the ferries that cover this route take between 80 and 120 minutes, and the commercial planes, which do it in just 30 minutes, have the handicap that passengers have to go to the airports, on the outskirts, to catch them . The seaplanes, on the other hand, will depart from the ports of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in the center of both cities, and will cover the route in half an hour.

Of course, the cost of this means of transport will be higher than that of ferries and commercial planes. The latter usually cost between 45 and 80 euros, as Xataka has learned through various price comparators for these services, although in the case of flights, travel to the airport must be added. The seaplane ride, on the other hand, will be around 100 euros.

seaplanes. As for the aircraft, they will be seaplanes of the DHC-6 Twin Otter model with the capacity to transport 16 passengers per trip, According to National Geographic. The company behind the project, Surcar Airlines, points out that they will guide the service to professionals who have to travel regularly between the islands to work and value speed over price. On weekends, on the other hand, they will bet on clients who want to travel for leisure. They estimate that they will transport some 15,000 passengers during their first year of activity.

Return 60 years later. The return of seaplanes to the Canary Islands marks a milestone in the history of Spanish aviation. In 1957 these aircraft left our skies because the technological progress of commercial aircraft improved long-distance transport conditions and allowed the route between the British and Spanish islands to be covered in one go, without intermediate stops, and with greater number of people on board.

Now, however, the service that these aircraft will perform is very different: short journeys to quickly connect the islands. In principle, Tenerife and Gran Canaria, although it is possible that they extend it to other islands.

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The Scandinavian example. The promoters of the Canarian seaplanes have been developing the project for several years and have been based on a similar service from the Danish company Nordic Seaplanes that connects the ports of Copenhagen and Aarhus in 45 minutes. A successful model that they hope to replicate in the Spanish islands.

Contact between the promoters of the Spanish project and the Danish company are so close that, in fact, Nordic Seaplanes controls 20% of the capital of Surcar Airlines and will operate the flights at the beginning of the activity, until the Canary Islands obtain all the necessary authorizations. The service is expected to go live in the fall of 2022.

the maldives. As well as between Copenhagen and Aarhus, seaplanes are now used to connect various port cities and islands, in some cases because it is the fastest way to do it, in others because it is the only way. Thus, services similar to Swedish and Canarian operate in Vancouver or Seattle. And in the Maldives, an archipelago made up of some 2,000 islands, these aircraft are the best way to transport passengers between different towns. In fact, the company in charge of doing it, Trans Maldivianis the world’s leading seaplane company.

The last time a passenger seaplane crossed the skies and seas of Spain, man had not yet set foot on…

The last time a passenger seaplane crossed the skies and seas of Spain, man had not yet set foot on…

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