Aeropuerto de Alicante-Elche
|IATA: ALC – ICAO: LEAL|
|Elevation AMSL||43 m / 141 ft|
Alicante–Elche Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto de Alicante-Elche, Valencian: Aeroport d'Alacant-Elx), (IATA: ALC, ICAO: 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.
The airport is a base for Jet2.com, 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. 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.
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. Iberia established a regular connections Alicante–Madrid and Alicante–Barcelona in November 1969. 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.
The next renovation took place in 1996. A new office building together with operation and business centres were constructed. For the first time, five air bridges were installed to facilitate boarding.
In 2011, the new terminal was opened at the airport increasing the annual airport capacity to 20 million passengers per year. 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.
Historically, up until 2003, Iberia was the leading airline at the airport. With the decline of conventional airlines, in 2004 low-cost EasyJet took the lead. In 2007, Ryanair, the largest European low-cost airline established a base in Alicante. 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).
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" with the IATA airport code remaining unchanged, ALC.
The New Terminal is the only terminal currently in service. Terminals 1 and 2 have been closed since the opening of the new terminal.
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. 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 (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.
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.
Airlines and destinations
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2014)|
|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.
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.
|Updated: 16 January 2015. 2014 data provisional. 2012 data provisional.|
|Passengers||Aircraft movements||Cargo (tonnes)|
|Source: Aena Statistics|
|1||London–Gatwick, United Kingdom||719,750||EasyJet, Monarch, Thomson Airways, British Airways|
|2||Manchester, United Kingdom||623,622||EasyJet, Jet2, Monarch, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomson Airways|
|3||East Midlands, United Kingdom||366,856||Jet2, Monarch, Ryanair, Thomson Airways|
|5||Birmingham, United Kingdom||297,972||Monarch, Ryanair, Thomas Cook, Thomson Airways|
|6||Madrid, Spain||270,318||Iberia Express|
|7||Newcastle, United Kingdom||255,991||EasyJet, Jet2, Thomas Cook, Thomson Airways|
|8||Amsterdam, Netherlands||254,169||Vueling, Transavia|
|9||Bristol, United Kingdom||254,074||EasyJet, Ryanair, Thomson Airways|
|10||London–Stansted, United Kingdom||252,414||EasyJet, Ryanair|
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||Available||Carrier||Line||Destination||Website|
|– Bus||Yes||Subús Alcoyana||C-6||Alicante||www.subus.es, Line C-6|
|Subús Moyá||1A, 1B||Elche
|www.subus.es, Line 1A, www.subus.es, Line 1B|
|Subús Moyá||1B||Arenales del Sol
|www.subus.es, Line 1B|
|Costa Azul||--------||Orihuela Coast
|Autocares Baile||--------||Santa Pola
Arenales del Sol
|– Train||No (in project)||--------||--------||--------||www.renfe.es|
|– Tram||No (in project)||--------||--------||Alicante
|– Taxi||Yes||Radio Taxi Elche||--------||various||www.radiotaxielche.com|
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.
- Aena (Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea)
- AENA passenger statistics and aircraft movements
- Spanish AIP (AENA)
- AENA – Alicante Airport: Introduction
- Alicante Airport airports-worldwide.com
- AENA – Alicante Airport: History
- Alicante Airport New Terminal
- Old Alicante Airport Terminals to Reopen by Mark Nolan, The Leader Newspaper, 2011-12-09
- New terminal should help Alicante pass 10 million mark this summer; Ryanair now accounts for one-third of traffic anna.aero, Airport Analysis, 23 March 2011
- Ryanair announces 21st base in Alicante, Spain Ryanair News Release, 09.08.07
- Ryanair suprime 31 rutas en el aeropuerto de El Altet Las Provincias, 26.10.11
- Alicante Airport New Terminal, AENA The airport in figures.
- "easyJet adds 20 new routes for summer 2015". Retrieved 10 December 2014.
- "Jetairfly Adds Antwerp Routes from late-April 2015". Airline Route. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "Ryanair Präsentiert Den Kölner Sommerflugplan 2015" (in German). Retrieved 23 September 2014.
- "WIZZ AIR ANNOUNCES 5TH AIRCRAFT AND 8 NEW ROUTES IN WARSAW". Wizz Air. 6 August 2014.
Media related to Alicante Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website (English) (Spanish)
- Current weather for LEAL at NOAA/NWS
- Accident history for ALC at Aviation Safety Network