EL ALTET airport in Alicante has received 15 per cent more requests for flight slots in summer 2012, according to the Spanish airport authority AENA.
This includes new operators flying to 14 of the 15 destinations that Ryanair’s withdrawal of flights affected.
It is believed that the airline is planning to reinstate some of their withdrawn routes in March despite Ryaniar not yet officially responding to the latest court ruling or to AENA’s offer to allow them to use bus connections to the terminal building.
Between February 2 and March 26, Ryanair plans to have flights between El Altet and various previously withdrawn airports including Bournemouth, Cork, Kerry and Knock in England and Ireland, according to information on their website.
They also will offer direct lights to Hausegund in Norway, Kaunas in Lithuania, Maastricht in the Netherlands, Warsaw in Poland, Tampere in Finland and Malmoe, Oslo-Torp, Smaland-Vaxjo and Stockholm in Sweden.
Meanwhile, between April and October, low-cost airline Wow Air will offer two new weekly flights from Alicante to Iceland’s capital Reykjavik and Zurich in Switzerland via Swiss International airline Edelweiss Air.
Wow Air will also be incorporating Icelandic airlines Icelandair and Iceland Express making El Altet the Spanish airport with the best links to Iceland. Air Berlin previously announced direct flights to Nuremberg – without stopping in Palma de Mallorca – every Friday in addition to those already operating in Munich, Hamburg and Berlin.
El Altet is also reinforcing flights on offer to the UK, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Belgium. Jet2.com will open a route to Edinburgh and increase the frequency of flights to Belfast, East Midlands (Nottingham) and Newcastle.
Easyjet will add a new route to the London’s fourth airport, Southern. Bmibaby will operate to Belfast-City airport.
From late June Scandinavian Airlines will fly to Stockholm in Sweden and the new route to Alesund in Norway launched this winter will be extended along with a strengthening of connections to Oslo.
Norwegian airlines will fly more frequently to Helsinki in Finland. Belgium will extend the link to Charleroi through Air Berlin from this winter.
Connections with Russia will also be strengthened. From June onwards there will also be two daily direct flights to Moscow by Siberia Airlines, which currently connects the Costa Blanca and Russia three times per week.
Other Russian flights will be with Aeroflot to Sheremetyevo and a weekly charter flight to St Petersburg.
Alicante airport saw some 70,000 Russian passengers in 2011, making it one of the biggest growing markets together with visitors from Nordic countries.
Overall passengers through El Altet last year reached 10million. This is an increase of 500,000 over the previous year.
By Nicole Hallett