Alicante–Elche Airport

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Alicante–Elche Airport
Aeropuerto de Alicante-Elche
Aeroport d'Alacant-Elx
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator ENAIRE
Serves Alicante, Elche, Benidorm, Murcia and Albacete
Location Elche
Hub for
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 (2015)
Passengers 10.574.484
Passenger change 14–15 Increase5,1%
Aircraft Movements 74.084
Movements change 15–16 Increase3,5%
Sources: Passenger Traffic, AENA;[2] Spanish AIP, AENA[3][4]

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. The airport is a base for Air Nostrum, Evelop Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair and Vueling.

By 2015 the airport was beating its yearly record, handling 10,574,484 passengers.[5] making it the busiest airport in the Valencian Community by passenger numbers, and one of the 50 busiest in Europe. 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.

In 2015, the number of passengers increased by 5,1% to 10,574,484. The passenger traffic has increased in every year since 2000, with the exception of 2009 and 2012. By 2015 the largest number of passengers was carried by Ryanair (2,992,984), followed by EasyJet (1,285,221) and Vueling (1,093,494). Norwegian Air Shuttle (893,319) is the "distant" four.[2][14]

On 23 July 2016 the airport registered its busiest day to date, hadling 347 flights -with an average of one flight every 3 minutes- and about 58,000 passengers in a single day.[15]


Interior of the new terminal
Alicante–Elche Airport terminal building

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.[16] 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.

Former 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]

Former 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 Pier
Aeroflot Moscow–Sheremetyevo[17][18] D
Aer Lingus Dublin
Seasonal: Belfast-City,[19] Cork
Air Algérie Algiers, Oran D
Air Berlin Berlin–Tegel, Düsseldorf, Munich, Stuttgart, Zürich D, P
Air Europa Asturias, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife–North, Tenerife–South
Seasonal: Barcelona, Bilbao, Ibiza, Menorca, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Vigo
D, P
Atlantic Airways Seasonal charter: Vágar[20] D
Belavia Seasonal: Minsk D
Blue Air Liverpool (begins 29 April 2017) D, P
British Airways London–Gatwick D
British Airways
operated by BA Cityflyer
Seasonal: London-City
Seasonal charter: Edinburgh, Glasgow
Brussels Airlines Brussels D, P
Bulgaria Air Seasonal: Sofia D, P
easyJet Belfast–International, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, London–Southend, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne D
easyJet Hamburg, Milan–Malpensa D, P
easyJet Switzerland Basel/Mulhouse, Geneva D, P
Eurowings Düsseldorf, Vienna D, P
Evelop Airlines Seasonal: Asturias, Bilbao, Girona, Gran Canaria, Málaga, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Tenerife–North, Tenerife–South, Valladolid, Vigo D, P
Finnair Seasonal: Helsinki (begins 26 March 2017) D, P
Flybe Doncaster/Sheffield, Exeter, Norwich, Southampton D
operated by Air Nostrum
Bilbao, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife–North
Seasonal: Carcassonne, León, Menorca, Vigo
D, P Belfast–International, Birmingham (begins 31 March 2017),[21] East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, London-Stansted (begins 30 March 2017),[22] Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne D, P
operated by BA CityFlyer
Seasonal charter: Humberside D
KLM Amsterdam D, P
Lufthansa Frankfurt D, P
Luxair Luxembourg (resumes 8 April 2017) D, P
Monarch Airlines Birmingham, Leeds/Bradford, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, Manchester D, P
Neos Seasonal charter: Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion D, P
Niki Seasonal: Vienna D, P
Norwegian Air Shuttle London–Gatwick, Manchester D
Norwegian Air Shuttle Aalborg, Ålesund, Bergen, Billund, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Helsinki, Munich, Moss/Rygge (ends 26 October 2016),[23] Oslo, Sandefjord, Stavanger, Stockholm–Arlanda, Tromsø, Trondheim
Seasonal: Cologne/Bonn, Harstad/Narvik, Karlstad, Molde
D, P
Primera Air Seasonal: Billund (begins 7 May 2017), Reykjavík–Keflavík D, P
Ryanair[24] Aberdeen (begins 9 February 2017),[25] Belfast–International, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow (begins 30 October 2016), Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, London–Gatwick (begins 31 October 2016), London–Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Newquay, Prestwick
Seasonal: Cork, Kerry, Knock, Shannon
Ryanair[26] Baden-Baden/Karlsruhe, Beauvais, Bergamo, Berlin–Schönefeld, Bremen, Brussels, Charleroi, Cologne/Bonn,[27] Copenhagen, Eindhoven, Gothenburg, Hahn, Hamburg, Kraków, Maastricht/Aachen, Memmingen, Moss/Rygge, Poznań (begins 3 November 2016), Rome–Ciampino, Rome–Fiumicino, Santiago de Compostela, Stockholm–Skavsta, Warsaw–Modlin, Weeze
Seasonal: Billund, Bologna, Gdańsk, Haugesund, Katowice, Kaunas, Nuremberg, Sandefjord/Torp, Tampere,[28] Västerås, Växjö, Wrocław
D, P
S7 Airlines Moscow–Domodedovo D
Scandinavian Airlines Oslo, Stavanger, Stockholm–Arlanda
Seasonal: Bergen, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Kristiansand, Trondheim
D, P
Swiss International Air Lines Seasonal: Zürich[29] D, P
TAROM Seasonal: Bucharest D
Thomas Cook Airlines Glasgow (resumes 31 March 2017), Manchester[30]
Seasonal: London-Stansted (begins 21 July 2017)
D, P
Thomson Airways Birmingham, Cardiff, Doncaster/Sheffield, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London–Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Seasonal: Bristol
D, P
TUI Airlines Belgium Antwerp, Brussels, Charleroi, Liège, Ostend/Bruges D, P
TUI Airlines Netherlands Charter: Amsterdam D, P
Transavia Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Munich, Rotterdam D, P
Travel Service Seasonal charter: Katowice, Warsaw–Chopin, Wrocław D
Ukraine International Airlines Ivano-Frankivsk
Charter: Kiev–Boryspil[31]
Volotea Asturias
Seasonal: Bordeaux, Marseille (begins 10 April 2017), Nantes, Toulouse (begins 2 April 2017), Venice
D, P
Vueling Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester
Seasonal: Moscow–Domodedovo , St Petersburg
Vueling Algiers, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bilbao, Brussels, Copenhagen, Ibiza, Milan–Malpensa, Nantes, Oran, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Orly, Rome–Fiumicino, Santiago de Compostela, Tenerife–North, Tenerife-South, Zürich
Seasonal: Menorca, Santander
D, P
Windrose Airlines Seasonal: Kiev-Boryspil[32] D
Wizz Air Bucharest, Budapest, Cluj-Napoca, Sofia
Seasonal: Warsaw–Chopin
D, P
WOW air Reykjavík–Keflavík D, P


Airlines Destinations
DHL Aviation Tangier, Vitoria


Passengers and movements[edit]

Alicante Airport Passenger Totals 2000–2016 (millions)
Updated: 22 February 2015. 2015 data provisional.[2]
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
2015 10,574,484 74,084 3,587
2016* 9,644,707 67,273 4,089
Source: Aena Statistics[2]

Busiest routes[edit]

Busiest Routes from Alicante–Elche Airport, January–December 2015
Rank Country Passengers Top Carriers
1 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg London–Gatwick, United Kingdom 773,749 British Airways, easyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Monarch, Thomson Airways
2 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Manchester, United Kingdom 636,045 easyJet, Jet2, Monarch, Ryanair, Thomson Airways
3 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg East Midlands, United Kingdom 382,712 Jet2, Monarch, Ryanair, Thomson Airways
4 Flag of Spain.svg Barcelona, Spain 330,691 Vueling
5 Flag of Belgium.svg Brussels, Belgium 312,109 Brussels Airlines, Jetairfly, Ryanair, Vueling
6 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Birmingham, United Kingdom 305,057 Monarch, Ryanair, Thomson Airways
7 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Amsterdam, Netherlands 285,829 Vueling, Transavia
8 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Leeds, United Kingdom 276,919 Jet2, Monarch, Ryanair
9 Flag of Spain.svg Mallorca, Spain 274,805 Air Berlin, Air Europa, Vueling
10 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Bristol, United Kingdom 272,345 easyJet, Ryanair, Thomson Airways
11 Flag of Spain.svg Madrid, Spain 268,659 Air Europa, Air Nostrum
12 Flag of Norway.svg Oslo, Norway 268,314 Norwegian Air Shuttle, SAS
13 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Newcastle, United Kingdom 236,315 easyJet, Jet2, Ryanair, Thomson Airways
14 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg London–Stansted, United Kingdom 225,621 Ryanair
15 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Liverpool, United Kingdom 216,380 easyJet, Ryanair
16 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Luton, United Kingdom 215,453 easyJet, Monarch

Busiest countries served[edit]

Busiest Countries from Alicante–Elche Airport, January–December 2015
Rank Countries Passengers Top Carriers
1 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom 4,420,453 British Airways, EasyJet, Flybe, Jet2, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Monarch, Ryanair, Thomson Airways, Vueling
2 Flag of Spain.svg Spain 1,270,430 Air Berlin, Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Evelop, Ryanair, Vueling
3 Flag of Germany.svg Germany 742,024 Air Berlin, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair
4 Flag of Norway.svg Norway 660,753 Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair, SAS
5 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands 637,573 Ryanair, Vueling, Transavia
6 Flag of Belgium.svg Belgium 538,746 Brussels Airlines, Jetairfly, Ryanair, Vueling
7 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 405,175 Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair, SAS
8 Flag of Ireland.svg Ireland 272,026 Aer Lingus, Ryanair
9 Flag of Switzerland.svg Switzerland 235,512 Air Berlin
10 Flag of France.svg France 227,990 Ryanair, Vueling
11 Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark 210,864 Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair, SAS, Vueling
12 Flag of Algeria.svg Algeria 203,370 Air Algérie, Vueling
13 Flag of Italy.svg Italy 194,687 easyJet, Ryanair, Vueling
14 Flag of Russia.svg Russia 169,905 S7, Transaero, Vueling
15 Flag of Poland.svg Poland 148,942 Ryanair, Travel Service, Wizzair
16 Flag of Finland.svg Finland 102,839 Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair

Busiest airlines[edit]

Top 16 Airlines in Alicante–Elche Airport during 2015
Rank Airline Passengers
1 Ryanair (base) 2,992,984Increase
2 easyJet & easyJet Switzerland 1,483,707 Increase
3 Vueling (base) 1,093,494 Increase
4 Norwegian Air Shuttle & Norwegian Air International (base) 893,319 Increase
5 Monarch 648,141 Decrease
6 Jet2 (base) 634,163 Decrease
7 Transavia 416,063 Increase
8 Air Berlin 384,478 Decrease
9 Thomson 310,656 Increase
10 Air Nostrum (base) 276,849 Increase
11 Jetairfly 255,931 Increase
12 SAS 234,576 Increase
13 Air Europa 207,842 Increase
14 Air Algérie 161,990 Increase
15 British Airways 128,212 Decrease
16 S7 Airlines 107,383 Increase

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. New car parking was opened in 2011 together with the new terminal. It employs a modern sensor system with displays.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Evelop opens a new winter-base in Alicante-Elche" (Press release). Foroblog of Alicante-Elche Airport. 13 October 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Estadsticas - Aeropuertos Espaoles y Navegacin Area -". Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Spanish AIP (AENA)
  4. ^
  5. ^ INFORMACION (29 December 2014). "El aeropuerto de Alicante-Elche prevé cerrar el año con una cifra de 10.050.000 pasajeros". Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Alicante Airport
  7. ^ a b c "History - Alicante-Elche Airport - Aena". Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  8. ^ Alicante Airport New Terminal
  9. ^ a b c Old Alicante Airport Terminals to Reopen by Mark Nolan, The Leader Newspaper, 2011-12-09
  10. ^ a b New terminal should help Alicante pass 10 million mark this summer; Ryanair now accounts for one-third of traffic, Airport Analysis, 23 March 2011
  11. ^ Ryanair announces 21st base in Alicante, Spain Ryanair News Release, 09.08.07
  12. ^ Ryanair suprime 31 rutas en el aeropuerto de El Altet Las Provincias, 26.10.11
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ "Introduction - Alicante-Elche Airport - Aena". Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  15. ^ Paco Escribano (25 July 2016). "Jornada histórica en el aeropuerto de Alicante-Elche con un vuelo cada 3 minutos" (in Spanish). INFORMACIÓN. Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  16. ^ Alicante Airport New Terminal, AENA The airport in figures.
  17. ^ "Aeroflot announces a new route: Alicante-Elche - Moscow Sheremetyevo" (Press release). Foroblog of Alicante-Elche Airport. 25 February 2016. 
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Atlantic Airways announces a new charter route: Alicante-Elche - Vágar" (Press release). Foroblog of Alicante-Elche Airport. 6 February 2016. 
  21. ^ " Adds Birmingham Routes in S17". routesonline. Retrieved 7 July 2016. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Ryanair Präsentiert Den Kölner Sommerflugplan 2015" (in German). Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  28. ^ "Ryanair cans Tampere winter routes". Yle Uutiset. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  29. ^ "SWISS Adds Zurich - Alicante Route in S16". 13 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ "UIA extends ALC-KBP in W15" (Press release). 4 September 2015. 
  32. ^

External links[edit]

Media related to Alicante Airport at Wikimedia Commons