The business affair between Britain's leading tour operator Airtours and Majorcan hotel and tourism companies could deepen following reports that Airtours is keen to expand its alliance with the world leading Majorcan hotel chain Sol Melia SA. Airtours managing director, Tim Byrne, told reporters in Gran Canaria that Airtours was interested in reaching new accords with the Spanish hotel chain for investments and contracts guaranteeing space for its tourist packages. Airtours, which already has an accord with Sol Melia, owns 93 hotels and 44'000 beds, but the tour operator wants to increase its capacity of quality accommodation in Spain. A tie-up with Sol Melia would provide access to an extra 70'000 beds, not to mention the 330 hotels in 30 countries which are all part of the Sol Melia chain, which has one of the ten largest numbers of hotel beds in the world. Byrne said in Las Palmas that the two companies have a “phenomenal” relationship and pointed out that Airtours and Sol Melia are involved in a 50-50 Hotel Tenerife Sol joint venture in Playa de Las Americas. Over half of Airtours' nine million clients each year come to Spain, with the Balearics and the Canaries being the two most popular destinations.

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