It’s official – Alicante-Elche Airport has a new name. The Valencia region’s main air terminal is now known as Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández Airport, as a tribute to one of the area’s cultural icons. The change of name was approved by the ministry for public works last November – during celebrations to mark the 110th anniversary of the birth of Miguel Hernández – but only now formally designated with its publication in the Official State Bulletin.
At the time, the president of the Valencia region (of which Alicante is one of three provinces), Ximo Puig, said the new designation was approved to highlight the Orihuela-born poet and playwright’s immense contribution to Spanish culture and to foster ongoing knowledge of his legacy.
Hernández was born on 30 October 1910 into a poor family in Orihuela – today a popular coastal tourist resort in the south-western corner of the province, near the Murcia border.
In spite of receiving little formal education, being mostly self-taught and spending his childhood as a goatherd and farmhand, he wrote his first book of poetry at 23 years of age, and by the time of his death at 31 (28 March 1942) he had achieved great acclaim as a prominent member of Spain’s celebrated “Generation of ´27” and “Generation of ´36” literary movements.
Originally named El Altet when it was opened on 4 May 1967, Alicante-Elche Airport grew to become one of Spain’s busiest airports. The coronavirus pandemic slowed the airport’s progress, but local tourism authorities are counting on it regaining its status as a major European hub for both national and international flights this summer.
“Green List” for UK Holidaymakers
Their optimism is based on several factors, including hopes that Spain will be added to the UK’s “green list” for international holiday travel in June, the introduction of the “EU COVID-19 Certificate” (or “Digital Green Certificate”), Valencia’s relatively low incidence of COVID-19 compared with other Spanish regions, and its solid vaccination program (nearly two million doses administered, according to Puig).
Currently, only 12 countries and territories have been granted “green light” status from 17 May under the UK system, which will allow tourists travelling to Portugal and Gibraltar, for example, to return to the UK without having to self-isolate or pay for hotel quarantine.
The list is being reviewed every three weeks, and Spain is hoping its “amber” category – which bans “non-essential” travel from the UK – will be upgraded to green.
The tourist industry is also pinning its hopes on this past weekend’s lifting of the State of Alarm and the subsequent easing of social, commercial and mobility restrictions – thus encouraging tourists to once again head to Spain for their summer holidays.
For up to date information about flight services at Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández Airport, click here.