… as Thomas Cook Germany ceases operations
JM reported yesterday that Thomas Cook Germany has confirmed the end of all activity on the island from 1 January 2020. The possibility was reported on the blog a month ago.
On the back of this market analysts already anticipate more difficulties for the associated airline, Condor, whose weight in the Madeiran tourism sector reaches 80,000 annual seats. This is the news that makes the headlines in yesterday’s print edition of JM, where they report that reducing the airline’s fleet is a possibility.
The newspapers image on the front page showed that travel agents show power. The congress that brings together 750 agents from the tourism sector in Funchal yesterday sent serious warnings to the authorities. The list of complaints reaches the Governments, TAP and the Airport. The first day of the APAVT congress work also included some advice that the Region should follow.
Difficult to understand where Madeira is heading at the moment, as the island is faced with the “perfect storm” of reduced demand and a hugely increased number of hotel rooms and local-letting properties. The reduced demand is complex, as it is due to increasing airfares after drastically reduced competition, wind problems at the airport, and increased competition from traditionally cheap destinations such as Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt – countries coming back into the market after terrorist attacks. Add into the mix a poor exchange rate for Sterling, good-old Brexit uncertainty, and a brilliant summer across the whole of Europe in 2018 which encouraged “staycations” this year.
Difficult to see any good news!