Alicante–Elche Airport

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Alicante–Elche Airport
Aeropuerto de Alicante-Elche
Aeroport d'Alacant-Elx
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Aena
Serves Alicante
Location Elche
Elevation AMSL 43 m / 141 ft
Coordinates 38°16′56″N 00°33′29″W / 38.28222°N 0.55806°W / 38.28222; -0.55806Coordinates: 38°16′56″N 00°33′29″W / 38.28222°N 0.55806°W / 38.28222; -0.55806
ALC is located in Spain
Location within Spain
Direction Length Surface
m ft
10/28 3,000 9,842 Asphalt / Concrete
Statistics (2014)
Passengers 10,065,873
Passenger change 13–14 Increase4.4%
Aircraft Movements 71,570
Movements change 13–14 Increase4.8%
Sources: Passenger Traffic, AENA;[1] Spanish AIP, AENA[2][3]

Alicante–Elche Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto de Alicante-Elche, Valencian: Aeroport d'Alacant-Elx), (IATA: ALCICAO: LEAL), originally named El Altet, is the sixth busiest airport in Spain based on passenger numbers, and the main airport for the Valencian Community and the Region of Murcia. The airport is situated 9 km (5.6 mi) southwest of Alicante, about 160 km (99 mi) south of Valencia, about 70 km (43 mi) north of Murcia and 10 km (6.2 mi) east of Elche in the municipality of Elche on Mediterranean coast. In 2011, Alicante Airport handled 9,913,764 passengers, 75,572 flight operations and 3,011 tonnes of cargo, making it the busiest airport in the Valencian Community by passenger numbers, and one of the 50 busiest in Europe. By 2014 the airport was beating its yearly record, handling about 10,050,000 passengers.[4]

The airport is a base for Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair and Vueling. The largest number of passengers is carried by Ryanair (3,152,724 passengers in 2010), followed by EasyJet (1,337,350). Air Berlin (620,671) is the distant third.[1][5] Up to eighty percent of all passenger flights are international. The largest numbers of passengers arrive from Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands. Popular domestic destinations are Madrid, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona. Both international and domestic passenger traffic have increased significantly in the last decade.


Alicante Airport in 1972

El Altet airport opened on 4 May 1967, replacing the older aerodrome La Rabassa that had served Alicante since 1936. It took its name after the El Altet area (a part of Elche's countryside) where it was built. The first commercial flight that landed in the airport was Convair Metropolitan by Aviaco.[6] Iberia established a regular connections Alicante–Madrid and Alicante–Barcelona in November 1969.[7] In early 1970s passengers' traffic reached 1 million, which prompted a construction of a new passenger terminal. In 1980 the runway was extended to three kilometres.[6]

The next renovation took place in 1996.[7] A new office building together with operation and business centres were constructed. For the first time, five air bridges were installed to facilitate boarding.[7]

In 2011, the new terminal was opened at the airport increasing the annual airport capacity to 20 million passengers per year.[8] All flights arrive and depart from this new terminal. Terminals 1 and 2, which were in service before the opening of the new terminal, are currently closed. Works however will not be completed until 2014, as plans are to construct a connecting hallway between the new terminal and terminals 1 and 2 that will allow to exploit the passenger space of all terminals.[9]

Historically, up until 2003, Iberia was the leading airline at the airport.[10] With the decline of conventional airlines, in 2004 low-cost EasyJet took the lead.[10] In 2007, Ryanair, the largest European low-cost airline established a base in Alicante.[11] It has become the leading carrier at the airport in 2009, and by 2011 it has increased its presence further with eleven aircraft based, 62 routes, and more than 3 million passengers. However, from the end of October 2011, Ryanair has cut 31 routes due to disagreement with AENA on the usage of air bridges at the new terminal (before, they would always unload on the tarmac because it is cheaper but the owners of the airport want all planes to use the air bridges in the new building and not unload on the tarmac).[12]

The airport is located within Elche's comarca and so there had been a historical petition from Elche to include the city's name in the official name of the airport. This was implemented in July 2013 when the name of the airport was officially changed from "Alicante Airport" to "Alicante–Elche Airport"[13] with the IATA airport code remaining unchanged, ALC.


The now closed Terminal 1
The now closed Terminal 2

The New Terminal is the only terminal currently in service. Terminals 1 and 2 have been closed since the opening of the new terminal.

New Terminal[edit]

The new terminal (denoted as Terminal N) was officially opened on 23 March 2011. All flight operations at the airport were moved to this terminal on the following day. The first flight that used the terminal was a Ryanair flight to Memmingen.

The terminal has an area of 333,500 m2, which is more than six times the size of terminals 1 and 2 together. It includes 96 check-in desks, 40 gates, including 15 with airbridges, and 16 baggage reclaim carousels.[14] The terminal is split into two areas, the processor where the C Gates are held, and the dock where the majority of B Gates are located. Flights within the Schengen Area use both areas of the terminal while flights to non-Schengen destinations only use the dock. This terminal was constructed to the east of Terminal 1.

Terminal 1[edit]

Terminal 1 (styled as T1) had 38 check-in desks numbered 1–38, along with one for special baggage which is desk number 39. It included 11 gates of which five have airbridges, which are the odd numbered gates, and nine baggage reclaim carousels. It was closed after the opening of the new terminal on 24 March 2011. There are plans to reopen Terminal 1 following the construction of a connecting hallway with the new terminal.[9]

Terminal 2[edit]

Terminal 2 (styled as T2) had 14 check-in desks numbered 51–64, 6 gates (none with airbridges), and two baggage reclaim carousels. This terminal is adjacent to Terminal 1. The terminal was opened in January 2007. Prior to the opening of the new terminal whilst it was still active it was the smaller of the two terminals. Once the new terminal had opened on 24 March 2011, it was closed together with Terminal 1. Terminal 2 is due to reopen but only to private flights, air ambulances and small charter planes. No date for this has currently been set.[9]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Airlines Destinations Pier1
Aer Lingus Dublin
Seasonal: Cork
Air Algérie Algiers, Oran D
Air Berlin Berlin–Tegel, Düsseldorf, Munich, Palma de Mallorca, Stuttgart, Zürich D, P
Air Europa Asturias,[15] Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife South D, P
Belavia Seasonal: Minsk-National D
British Airways London–Gatwick D
Brussels Airlines Brussels D, P
easyJet Belfast–International, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, London–Southend, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne D
easyJet Hamburg (begins 30 March 2015),[16] Rome–Fiumicino (begins 13 April 2015)[17] D, P
easyJet Switzerland Basel/Mulhouse, Geneva D, P
Edelweiss Air Seasonal: Zürich D, P
Flybe Exeter, Southampton
Seasonal: Birmingham
operated by Air Nostrum
Bilbao, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Madrid
Seasonal: Carcassonne (begins 20 June 2015), Tenerife–North, Menorca
D, P Belfast–International, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow–International, Leeds/Bradford, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne D, P
Jetairfly Antwerp (begins 18 April 2015),[18] Brussels, Charleroi, Liège, Ostend/Bruges D, P
operated by BA Cityflyer
Seasonal: Humberside D
Monarch Airlines Birmingham, East Midlands (ends 30 April 2015), Leeds/Bradford (begin 16 February 2015), London–Gatwick, London–Luton, Manchester D, P
Niki Vienna (begins 9 May 2015) D, P
Norwegian Air Shuttle London–Gatwick D
Norwegian Air Shuttle Aalborg, Bergen, Cologne/Bonn, Copenhagen, Göteborg–Landvetter, Hamburg, Helsinki, Munich, Moss/Rygge, Oslo–Gardermoen, Oulu, Sandefjord, Stavanger, Stockholm–Arlanda, Tromsø, Trondheim
Seasonal: Ålesund, Billund, Harstad/Narvik, Karlstad, Molde, Turku, Umeå
D, P
Primera Air Seasonal: Reykjavík–Keflavík D, P
Rossiya Seasonal: Saint Petersburg D
Ryanair Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, London–Stansted, Manchester, Prestwick
Seasonal: Cork, Derry, Kerry, Knock, Shannon
Ryanair Baden-Baden/Karlsruhe, Beauvais, Bergamo, Bremen, Brussels, Charleroi, Cologne/Bonn (begins 31 March 2015),[19] Eindhoven, Göteborg–Landvetter, Hahn, Kraków, Maastricht/Aachen, Memmingen, Moss, Stockholm–Skavsta, Weeze
Seasonal: Billund, Bologna, Gdańsk, Haugesund, Katowice, Kaunas, Nuremberg, Sandefjord, Santiago de Compostela, Tampere, Västerås, Växjö, Warsaw–Modlin, Wrocław
D, P
Scandinavian Airlines Oslo–Gardermoen, Stavanger, Stockholm–Arlanda
Seasonal: Bergen, Copenhagen, Göteborg–Landvetter, Kristiansand, Trondheim
D, P
S7 Airlines Moscow–Domodedovo D
Thomas Cook Airlines Birmingham
Seasonal: Belfast, East Midlands, Newcastle
Thomson Airways Birmingham, Cardiff, Doncaster/Sheffield, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London–Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Seasonal: Bristol
Transaero Airlines Moscow Vnukovo
Seasonal: Moscow–Domodedovo
D Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Rotterdam D, P
Vueling Cardiff, Moscow–Domodedovo, Saint Petersburg D
Vueling Amsterdam, Algiers (begins 11 April 2015), Barcelona, Bilbao, Brussels, Copenhagen, Oran, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Orly, Rome–Fiumicino, Santander, Tenerife North (begins 2 August 2015)
Seasonal: Ibiza, Menorca, Turin (begins 2 June 2015)
D, P
Volotea Seasonal: Asturias (begins 19 May 2015), Venice (resumes 26 June 2015) D, P
Wizz Air Bucharest, Budapest
Seasonal: Warsaw–Chopin (begins 4 April 2015)[20]
D, P
WOW air Reykjavík–Keflavík D, P


Airlines Destinations Pier1
BA Cityflyer Seasonal charter: Edinburgh, Glasgow D
Orenair Seasonal charter: Moscow Sheremetyevo, Saint Petersburg D, P
Travel Service Airlines Seasonal charter: Katowice, Warsaw–Chopin D
VIM Airlines Seasonal charter: Moscow–Domodedovo D

1D means Dock, P stands for Processor.


Airlines Destinations
DHL Aviation Vitoria


In 2013, the number of passengers increased by 8.8% to 9,638,860. The passenger traffic has increased in every year since 2000, with the exception of 2009 and 2012.

Alicante Airport Passenger Totals 2000–2013 (millions)
Updated: 16 January 2015. 2014 data provisional.[1] 2012 data provisional.
Passengers Aircraft movements Cargo (tonnes)
2000 6,038,266 56,427 7,745
2001 6,542,121 56,550 7,923
2002 7,010,322 59,268 6,548
2003 8,195,454 66,571 5,848
2004 8,571,144 71,387 6,036
2005 8,795,705 76,109 5,193
2006 8,893,720 76,813 4,931
2007 9,120,631 79,756 4,533
2008 9,578,304 81,097 5,982
2009 9,139,607 74,281 3,199
2010 9,382,935 74,474 3,112
2011 9,913,764 75,572 3,011
2012 8,855,764 62,468 2,527
2013 9,638,860 68,303 2,589
2014 10,065,873 71,570 2,637
Source: Aena Statistics[1]
Busiest Routes from Alicante–Elche Airport, January–December 2013[citation needed]
Rank City Passengers Top Carriers
1 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg London–Gatwick, United Kingdom 719,750 EasyJet, Monarch, Thomson Airways, British Airways
2 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Manchester, United Kingdom 623,622 EasyJet, Jet2, Monarch, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomson Airways
3 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg East Midlands, United Kingdom 366,856 Jet2, Monarch, Ryanair, Thomson Airways
4 Flag of Spain.svg Barcelona, Spain 325,709 Vueling
5 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Birmingham, United Kingdom 297,972 Monarch, Ryanair, Thomas Cook, Thomson Airways
6 Flag of Spain.svg Madrid, Spain 270,318 Iberia Express
7 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Newcastle, United Kingdom 255,991 EasyJet, Jet2, Thomas Cook, Thomson Airways
8 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Amsterdam, Netherlands 254,169 Vueling, Transavia
9 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Bristol, United Kingdom 254,074 EasyJet, Ryanair, Thomson Airways
10 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg London–Stansted, United Kingdom 252,414 EasyJet, Ryanair

Ground transport[edit]

Alicante airport is accessible by buses, taxis, and private cars on automobile road N-338. In the future, it is envisaged that it will be reached by trains and trams. A space in the basement of the new terminal is reserved for construction of stations for both modes.

Means of transport at Alicante airport
Means of transport Available Carrier Line Destination Website
Bus – Bus Yes Subús Alcoyana C-6 Alicante, Line C-6
Subús Moyá 1A, 1B Elche
Torrellano, Line 1A,, Line 1B
Subús Moyá 1B Arenales del Sol
El Altet, Line 1B
ALSA -------- Benidorm
Costa Azul -------- Torrevieja
Costa Azul -------- Orihuela Coast
La Marina
Autocares Baile -------- Santa Pola
Gran Alacant
Arenales del Sol
El Altet
Train – Train No (in project) -------- -------- --------
Tram – Tram No (in project) -------- -------- Alicante
Taxi – Taxi Yes Radio Taxi Elche -------- various

New car parking was opened in 2011 together with the new terminal. It employs a modern sensor system with displays. The multi-level parking is covered protecting cars from excessive sunlight.

See also[edit]

  • Aena (Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea)


External links[edit]

Media related to Alicante Airport at Wikimedia Commons