Second home owners on Spain's Menorca left in limbo over lack of UK flights

The Local Spain
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Second home owners on Spain's Menorca left in limbo over lack of UK flights
A street in Binibeca, a small fisherman's village in Menorca. Photo: JAIME REINA/AFP.

The cancellation of winter flights between Menorca and the UK has left many Britons with second homes on the tiny Spanish island paying hundreds of pounds for flights with several stops and layovers as long as 23 hours.


Britons with second homes in Menorca are struggling to travel between the island and the UK due to a lack of direct and affordable winter flights.

This comes after budget airline Vueling cancelled its direct London-Menorca service in the winter months due to its low profitability during the low season.

There are reportedly 8,000 British second home owners in Menorca, with 2,053 British residents living on the island.

In many cases, the journey now includes hours-long layovers in Barcelona or Palma de Mallorca, but in a more extreme example found by The Local, one of the only (and the cheapest advertised) routes included flying from London to Marrakech (with an 18 hour layover in the airport), then up to Madrid (for another five hour layover) before finally arriving in Menorca 30 hours and 45 minutes later.

READ ALSO: When Menorca was British: Eight things you should know

The return journey was even worse: a quick flight from Menorca to Madrid (followed by a 22-hour layover), then another flight to Bilbao (with a 23 hour layover) before finally making it back to London the next morning, a full 49 hours and 50 minutes later.

This flight route, which would be booked around two weeks in advance through Skyscanner, would cost €332 -- the cheapest flight available for those dates.

The quickest options available for those same dates (5 hours each way including a 1 or 2 hour layover in Barcelona) start from €530.

The cheapest flight option between the UK and Menorca available on Skyscanner, for a flight booked roughly 2 weeks in advance.
The cheapest flight option between the UK and Menorca available on Skyscanner, for a flight booked roughly 2 weeks in advance.



As of December 14th 2023, there was not a single direct flight between London and Menorca available on Skyscanner, nor from Birmingham, Manchester or Bristol.

The route was historically run by Monarch, the British budget airline that went into administration in 2017. Between 2018 and 2022, the route was operated by Easyjet with a €150,000 per season subsidy from the Menorcan government, but ultimately this proved insufficient and was increased to €250,000.

In January 2023, a new agreement with Vueling came into force at a rate of €200,000 per season, but later that year the Spanish airline cancelled the route citing profitability concerns.

The ending of direct connections between the UK and Menorca compounds the travel complications for non-resident British homeowners on the island, with post-Brexit restrictions limiting non-resident Brits to 90 days out of 180 in Schengen area countries.

The issue has become so bothersome for some Brits that they have even started a petition calling for "A direct winter route [that] would bring much needed winter visitors to the island as well as enabling residents from the UK and Menorca to travel back and forth easily."

But it's not just disgruntled UK nationals trying to do something about the issue. The local Menorca council is also attempting to restart the route, and has decided to increase the subsidy on offer with the aim of enticing another airline to pick it up during the winter months.

The government's contribution will rise from €200,000 to €275,000 for the next two winters.

"We have worked to recover the connection with London from the first minute,” Council President Adolfo Vilafranca told local Menorcan press.

“This line is part of a strategy connecting the island with main European capitals and aims to seasonalise tourist activity.”


However, it seems that the possibility of British airlines picking up the route and recovering winter air connectivity with Menorca is unlikely, at least in the short term.

Menorca's Council for Promotion of Tourism has consulted British Airways on the route, which reportedly showed "its intention to study" the possibility of operating a direct flight between Menorca and London, but not until between February and December 2025, and, if the route works, to extend it throughout the year.

"We had a very good feeling, we have sent them a proposal and have arranged another meeting," Begoña Mercadal, the Menorcan Council's director of Tourism Promotion stated in local press, effectively ruling out the possibility of any direct flights between Menorca and the UK this winter.

Are you a British second home owner in Menorca who has been affected by the lack of flights between the UK and Menorca? Leave a comment below or write to us at [email protected] to let us know about your situation.



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