The global repercussions of the coronavirus outbreak have had an especially harsh effect on tourism in Spain – consequently causing a massive decline in airport traffic. Nevertheless, government authorities are stoically focusing on several positive developments over summer.
In Alicante province, which covers the popular Costa Blanca coastal resorts, the tourism board has highlighted international airlines’ ongoing commitment to Alicante-Elche Airport.
Flagship companies such as Volotea, Air France, British Airways, Wizz Air, EasyJet, Norwegian, Ryanair and KLM have introduced more than a dozen new national and international routes, including links with London, Viena, Exeter, Dusseldorf, Amsterdam, Warsaw and Luxembourg.
According to José Mancebo, director of the Patronato Costa Blanca, these connections “show the potential, attractive appeal and tourist strength of our territory… municipalities and the tourist sector in general have made a great effort to reinvent themselves, face the future with a positive perspective, and adapt their services to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. All this work is bearing fruit, through the loyalty and confidence of these major airlines.”
During July, August and September, airlines operating at Alicante-Elche Airport are offering a total of 7,922 flights and 1,397,006 seats.
One of the new services, noted Mancebo, is a British Airways link that connects Alicante province with London Heathrow for the first time, “motivated by an increase in British people buying homes on the Costa Blanca”. KLM had also renewed a summer route with Amsterdam, with an average of four weekly frequencies (18,406 seats and 106 flights) and flights had been launched by LOT Polish Airlines linking Alicante with Warsaw.
“In spite of the difficult current situation, Alicante-Elche Airport is one of the best positioned at an international level. Proof of that is the high percentage of flights being maintained by airline companies, between 70 and 80 per cent.
“Even though it is too soon to make any predictions, there are signs that airlines’ commitment to and confidence in our destination could continue over the next few months. Without forgetting, of course, that the situation depends on the evolution of the pandemic.”
Alicante-Elche Remains Key Spanish Destination for Tourists
According to latest available figures published by Spain’s national tourism board, Turespaña, a total of 2,102,812 inbound tourists arrived in Spain in July via international airports. This was an 80 per cent decrease on the same month in 2019, but the national government has remained relatively upbeat.
“Despite COVID-19 continuing to affect the arrival of inbound tourists,” said the state secretary for tourism, Fernando Valdés, “these figures show that Spain continues to be a sought after destination by the main emitting markets.
“The government considers greater Europe-wide coordination to be crucial to avoid new travel restrictions, together with strengthening the instruments to control the pandemic and improve the information mechanisms on the epidemiological situation with a greater territorial breakdown.”
For up-to-date information about flight services at Alicante-Elche Airport, click here.