A delegation from the Ministry for Tourism, led by its head, Tomas Mecheba Fernandez-Galilea, and made up of the Director for Development and Promotion of Tourism, Maria Milagrosa Nchama, and Mahua Bendje Ngongolo, met on the afternoon of Monday 26th June with directors at the Madrid headquarters of the Iberia airline. The meeting took place at the invitation of the Spanish company to the Ministries for Tourism and Civil Aviation, with the aim of improving, among other issues, the current conditions of the flight linking Madrid with the capital of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, with a view to promoting Equatorial Guinea as a tourist destination and, by extension, the tourism sector in Equatorial Guinea.
The Minister of State for Tourism, Tomas Mecheba Fernandez-Galilea, met on the afternoon of 26th June with Iberia authorities, in order to look at improving, among other matters, the current conditions for the flight linking the capital of Spain with Malabo, in order to promote Equatorial Guinea as a tourist destination and, by extension, to develop the national tourist sector.
Present the meeting, which resulted from the multiple complaints by users of the company, with respect to the conditions of the aircraft and the service provided for passengers, were the directors of the airline, Neil Chernoff, Senior Vice-President; the Director for Alliances, Antonio Pimentel; the head of traffic at the company, Alicia Abascal; the Sales Manager for Europe, Africa and Asia, Celia MuAoz, and the Sales Representative for Iberia in Equatorial Guinea, Marcos Saa Ibusquiza.
Mecheba Fernandez, in his presentation, declared the aim of his ministry: to transform Equatorial Guinea into a quality tourist destination; and in order to do this, according to his words, four important elements are necessary: the provision of visas; affordable prices for plane tickets; better accommodation conditions; and finally, guaranteed entertainment in leisure resorts.
With regards to tariffs, the minister continued, Equatoguineans feel discriminated against, in relation to tariffs applied to Hispano-American countries, and he asked for efforts from the directors of Iberia so that, as a minimum, the current tariffs will be the same. Mecheba also said that the company should have larger, more comfortable planes providing a better service.
One of the issues brought up by the minister was that of the presence on flights of Equatoguinean cabin crew, whether contracted or on work placements.
For his part, the Vice-President of Iberia promised to study all the issues raised by the minister, including the possibility of replacing the current Airbus 319 for a larger, more comfortable plane, perhaps an Airbus 330-200.
Alicia Abascal thanked the minister for having raised the questions with the heads of Iberia in order to seek a solution which is acceptable to both parties, and she promised to study all Mecheba Fernandez’s proposals.
The authorities from Iberia proposed the possibility of an agreement to reduce prices similar to the one recently signed with San Juan de Puerto Rico, which would be within the framework of a joint action plan with the Government, with a view to making the Republic of Equatorial Guinea a serious quality tourist destination.
Finally, the Minister of State promised to take to the competent authorities all the concerns raised by the Iberia directors.
Source: Official Web Page of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea