Regional authorities have returned from this year’s Fitur tourism fair in Madrid with positive forecasts for 2022. Their optimism has been further enhanced by the UK government’s decision to remove all COVID testing requirements for eligible fully vaccinated arrivals, with only a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) required.
Due to come into effect from 4 am on 11 February, the new rules will not apply to arriving travellers who are not recognised as fully vaccinated. They will still need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before day two after they arrive in the UK. However, all under-18s – regardless of their individual vaccination status – will continue to be considered as fully vaccinated for inward travel.
In a review of Fitur, Turisme de la Comunitat Valenciana (Alicante is one of three provinces in the Valencia region) reported that tourism representatives had held fruitful meetings with tour operators including Jet2.com, confirming that travel to the Costa Blanca was starting to take off again. The UK based holiday company confirmed that it planned to triple the number of seats offered for flights to Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández Airport in 2022 compared with last year – and almost match 2019’s pre-pandemic figures.
This demonstrated, said regional secretary for tourism Francesc Colomer, that demand for and confidence in the Costa Blanca remained high. “The motivation to travel is there, as well as the desire to visit top tourist areas such as the Costa Blanca and enjoy experiences in safe destinations with a diverse and high-quality range of options.”
Jet2.com and Jet2holidays have responded to the increased demand by launching a sale giving customers “huge savings on all flights and holidays” for winter 2022, summer 2022, winter 2022/2023 and summer 2023. All bookings must be made by midnight on 7 February 2022 for those wanting to take advantage of the promotion.
EasyJet customers can also buy discounted tickets in a special sale for travel from 1 February to 30 September 2022, but they will need to be quick as the promotion is only available until tomorrow (Tuesday 1 February).
Another holiday company enticing newly invigorated tourists with discount offers is TUI UK, whose “Live Happy” promotion covers summer holidays departing between 1 May and 31 October 2022. The company says it is offering savings of up to £300 on package holidays, thousands of free children’s places, low deposits from £60 per person, and a £0 deposit on direct debit bookings made online, as well as special deals for single parents and solo travellers.
Meanwhile, Jet2.com is not the only airline operating at Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández Airport to be boosting services following the easing of UK travel restrictions.
As reported earlier this month, Icelandair is launching twice-weekly scheduled flights between Reykjavik and Alicante from 10 February; while Alicante town hall has announced that Ryanair plans to start a new twice-weekly service from Helsinki (Finland) in April.
Ryanair has also announced that Alicante will be one of the key destinations included in its “record-breaking schedule including fantastic sun getaways” from Dublin Airport this summer.
And finally… Brussels Airlines is planning for a “busy summer season” with a broad range of popular holiday destinations including Alicante.
“The booking figures clearly show a great willingness to travel,” says the Belgian airline’s head of network and planning Jan Derycke. “Compared to the summer of 2021, we also see that passengers start to book longer in advance again, especially for the school holiday periods. Spain, Portugal, Italy and the Greek Islands are expected to be the most popular destinations this summer season.”
For up-to-date information about flight schedules at Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández Airport, click here.