Binter Canarias was founded in 1988 by the Spanish airline Iberia to offer inter-island connections and has grown steadily ever since. In addition to providing domestic connections to the Canary Islands and connecting them to secondary airports on the Iberian Peninsula (Murcia, Zaragoza, Vigo), the Canarian operator first began expanding its operations to Africa in 2005. That year, Binter Canarias offered its first non-stop flights to the Moroccan cities of Marrakech and Laâyoune.
Things really took off in 2012 when routes were opened to Agadir and Casablanca, also in Morocco, and to Cape Verde. The following year they expanded to Banjul, Gambia, and Dakar, Senegal.
Finally, between 2014 and 2017, the company began offering services to Nouakchott, Mauritania and the Dakhla Peninsula. In addition to weaving its network across the continent, Binter Canarias has also expanded its services to Italy’s Turin and Venice airports and France’s Lille, Toulouse and Marseille airports, while expanding its flight connections to the Balearic Islands. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Binter Canarias operated about 40 weekly flights.
A diversified fleet adapted to the regional market
In 2018, the company carried a record 3.6 million passengers. These numbers apparently fell during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic and then rose as routes gradually reopened throughout 2021. Last July, Binter Canarias reopened its routes to Dakar and Mauritania for the first time. From December to February, she was then able to offer her services at the various Moroccan airports.
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The operator has a modern fleet of 29 aircraft – 24 ATRs and 5 Embraers. The length of the trip determines which aircraft is used. Nouakchott and destinations further south are served by Embaer 195-E2s, which have the longest range, while connections to airports in northern Mauritania are operated by ATR 72-600s, which can take off and land on short runways.
Those in charge now want to take advantage of the peculiarities of this fleet, particularly suitable for regional air transport, to improve the connections between the airports served by it in northern and southern countries by offering – if necessary – an overnight stay in the Canary Islands.
“This will give the Canary Islands even more visibility as a tourist destination,” said the company’s executives. Especially for the African clientele, which, although steadily increasing before Covid-19, accounts for just over a hundred thousand passengers a year.
In addition to leisure and business travelers attracted by the archipelago’s tax opportunities and climate, the airline also aims to support health tourism, which has developed rapidly in recent years.
In 2017, in addition to its traditional transport activities, Binter Canarias also took over internal flights between Cape Verde after Transportes Interilhas de Cabo Verde (TACV) ceased operations. The local subsidiary of the Canarian operator Binter CV also provides international services on behalf of TACV as part of a partnership that allows the Cape Verde archipelago to be connected to other countries in the sub-region. In 2018, Binter CV opened a domestic route in the island of Madeira, further strengthening its parent company’s position in the region.