Travellers from the UK have been enjoying Spain’s easing of COVID testing requirements and returning to the Costa Blanca in their thousands. Since the Spanish government announced its decision earlier this month, the newly named Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández international airport has been welcoming an increasing number of scheduled flights from the UK, including Birmingham, Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster, East Midlands, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester (up-to-date information available here).
Speaking during the Fitur tourism fair in Madrid, Alicante-Elche Airport director Laura Navarro said a total of 37 airline companies had applied for slots to fly to the Costa Blanca during the summer season, from 131 airports in a total of 27 countries. In addition to the UK, these include connections with the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, France and Switzerland.
Also at Fitur, Ximo Puig, president of the Valencia region (which comprises three provinces including Alicane in the southern part), said health and other authorities had made an enormous effort to contain and prevent the coronavirus pandemic from spreading, enabling Valencia to become “the safest tourist destination in Europe”.
He also welcomed the pending introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate, noting that it would help improve mobility throughout Europe this summer. Yesterday, during the Presura20 rural Spain fair in Soria, prime minister Pedro Sánchez announced that Spain would take part in European test trials in June for the certificate’s implementation.
Finnair is just one of Europe’s leading airlines boosting its schedules this summer, with Alicante-Elche one of the key tourist destinations where flights will be resumed. “We closely follow how travel regulations develop across our markets,” said Finnair’s chief commercial officer Ole Orvér, “and have the flexibility to increase flights based on demand, seizing opportunities created when travel restrictions are lifted.”
At a national level, Air Nostrum is another top airline increasing its services, including additional flights from Alicante-Elche to Ibiza, Gran Canaria and Tenerife – ideal for British and other European tourists who would like to expand their Costa Blanca holidays with a side trip to one of those popular island resorts.
In other news from national airport operator Aena…
- Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández Airport has officially been accredited as a “safe airport” in accordance with recommendations by the Airports Council International and World Health Organisation. The AHA (Airport Health Accreditation) recognises an airport’s commitment to health measures adopted for the security of employees and passengers. Alicante-Elche airport staff have enhanced cleaning services, disinfection and ventilation in the terminal, and installed screens, clear signage, gel dispensers and contact-less elements throughout the airport.
- The airport has also installed a new smart system for transporting baggage more efficiently. In addition to optimising the transport process, the system involves an energy saving of nearly one million Kwh per year – the equivalent of average consumption in 293 Spanish homes.
- Norwegian has announced that, following its “emergence from financial restructuring”, it will maintain two of its current five operational bases in Spain: Alicante-Elche and Málaga-Costa del Sol (with Barcelona-El Prat, Gran Canaria and Tenerife Sur closing).