12 Mar, 2024 @ 13:10
1 min read

Alicante airport breaks February record with one MILLION passengers – over a third of which were British

Record February Passenger Levels For Spain's Costa Blanca And Valencia Airports (2)

A NEW February passenger record has been set by Alicante-Elche airport which welcomed just over one million travellers last month.

Over a third of the arrivals came from the United Kingdom, which dominated international users.

The total February figure was 1,002,310- up 26.8% than a year earlier and also helped by 2024 being a leap year with an extra day to factor in.

The first two months of 2024 has seen 1.9 million travellers- 23-6% more than in 2023, which ended up as record year with over 15.7 million people.

With extra flights being provided by operators like Ryanair and Easyjet this summer, it is a racing certainty that last year’s record will be beaten.

International passengers grew by 28.4% compared to February 2023 and with 849,443 travellers, they represented the overwhelming bulk of people passing through Alicante- 84%.

The United Kingdom led the way with 335,411 arrivals, way ahead of the Netherlands in second-place with 76,245.

A new trend in extra Polish arrivals boosted by new routes, meant that Poland accounted for 60,125 people- seeing off more traditional Costa Blanca visitors like Belgium(58,032) and Germany(54,646).

With rising passenger numbers, local politicians and business leaders have been calling for the airport to get a second runway.

The government rebuffed the suggestion last week in a written response to the Partido Popular senator from Alicante, Agustin Almodobar.

The reply stated: “It should be noted that studies carried out indicate that in the short/medium term it is not necessary to have a second runway at the airport.”

The Alicante Chamber of Commerce president, Carlos Baño, warned that the airport ‘will collapse within two years’ with all of the increased traffic and predictions of 20 million people using it annually by 2026.

Valencian Tourism Minister, Nuria Montes, said that ‘the government clearly has no idea that airport planning should be carried out in the short and medium term as its a project that doesn’t take a short time to carry out.”

“The new runaway is needed to be able to maintain the airport’s growth in the coming years,” she added.

Meanwhile, Alicante-Elche airport has once again been recognised as the best airport in Europe that serves 15 to 25 million passengers.

The prestigious award for 2023 is given by the Airports Council International (ACI) and it means that Alicante has come top on four occasions in the last five years.

The award recognises excellence in service and the range of facilities and is given out by studying survey feedback from passengers using the Costa Blanca facility which had a record number of travellers last year.


Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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