Routes Africa 2016 to be held in Tenerife

One of the world’s most important connectivity meetings 26-28 June 2016TENERIFE-PARQUE-NACIONAL02.jpg

Routes Africa, the only route development forum for the African region, will be hosted by the Tenerife Tourism Corporation with the support of the Canary Islands Government this summer from 26-28 June 2016.

Tenerife has been selected because of its strategic location. Lying just 300km off the coast of Morocco, Tenerife is the closest European region to West Africa and a gateway to four continents – Europe, Africa, North America and South America.

The choice of Tenerife as host destination is testament to the continuous increase in flights to the island from Africa, UK and Europe and aligns with the Tenerife Island Government ´s strategy.

Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, Routes Africa has brought together leading airlines, airports and tourism authorities to discuss air services to, from and within Africa since 2006. Around 250 key route development professionals are expected to attend the 11th annual forum.

Aviation is vital to Tenerife’s economy, transporting over 12 million air passengers to the island’s two international airports every year. Tenerife’s long-term aim is to become a logistical stepping stone to Africa, connecting the continent to Europe and the Americas through the expansion of its air route network.

Routes Africa is an important part of Tenerife’s activities to achieve this aim. The event will provide the opportunity to showcase the year-round sunshine and stunning beaches, mountains and national park that attract six million tourists to Tenerife every year, making it one of Spain’s top destinations. The event will also highlight the island’s potential for investment as a hub for passengers, goods and data.

Mr. Alberto Bernabé, Tourism Minister at the Tenerife Island Government, says: “We are delighted and very honoured that Tenerife is hosting this prestigious event. Routes Africa is an exciting opportunity for us to showcase our island as a business hub to key aviation industry leaders from Africa, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.”

Over 200 companies from the Canary Islands currently operate in Africa, generating revenues in excess of £173 million in 2015. This is why Mr. Carlos Alonso, President of the Tenerife Island Government, has made increasing and improving the island’s air connectivity a top priority for the next few years, not only with Africa but also with the UK, Europe and the Americas.


Mr. Carlos Alonso, President of Tenerife Government, comments: “We didn’t have any direct flights to Africa four years ago and today we have four: to Casablanca, Agadir, Marrakesh and Dakar. With continued efforts we expect this number to continue growing.”

As well as direct routes to Africa, Tenerife has also seen a recent increase in fights from the UK. These include the recently-launched route from Heathrow to Tenerife North Airport with Iberia Express; two new twice-weekly services to Tenerife South Airport from Edinburgh with and Norwegian Airlines; and the introduction of a daily service from Gatwick with British Airways (up from 5 times a week). Also, Thomson Airways is launching a weekly service from Humberside Airport to the island in November 2016 and Thomas Cook Airlines is increasing its weekly flight to four times a week from this winter.


Other European carriers, such as Lufthansa, Wizz Air and Brussels Airlines, have also added new routes to Tenerife from Munich, Budapest and Brussels, respectively.

“Connectivity is vital to the development of the tourism sector and for employment,” says Carlos Alonso. “For every seven new tourists, a job is created.”

Increasing air transport links to other continents is one of the key priorities of the Tenerife Tourism Corporation’s Why Tenerife project, aimed at promoting the economic, social and cultural development of Tenerife for businesses to set up on the island. One of Tenerife’s main business incentives is its unique tax system which is lower than the rest of Europe – 4% corporation tax for registered companies and 7% VAT.

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