Alicante–Elche Airport

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Alicante–Elche Airport

Aeropuerto de Alicante-Elche
Aeroport d'Alacant-Elx
Aena Alicante.svg
NAT Aeropuerto de Alicante. 2011.jpg
Airport typePublic
ServesAlicante, Elche, Costa Blanca, Murcia and Albacete
LocationElche (Alicante)
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL43 m / 141 ft
Coordinates38°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 (2019)
Passenger change 18–19Increase7.6%
Aircraft Movements101,408
Movements change 18–19Increase4.8%
Sources: Passenger Traffic, AENA;[1] Spanish AIP, AENA[2][3]

Alicante–Elche Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto de Alicante-Elche, Valencian: Aeroport d'Alacant-Elx), (IATA: ALC, ICAO: LEAL), originally named El Altet, is —as of 2019— the fifth-busiest airport in Spain[4] based on passenger numbers, and the main airport serving the Valencian Community and the Region of Murcia. The airport is located in the municipality of Elche, about 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) east of this city and about 9 km (5.6 mi) southwest of Alicante. Its influence area spans other cities in the Valencia province—the city of Valencia is located about 160 km (99 mi) north of the airport—and in the Region of Murcia. The airport is located about 70 km (43 mi) north of Murcia.

The airport is a base for Air Nostrum, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair and Vueling. Passenger traffic has increased significantly in the last decade, beating its own yearly record since 2013 to date; in 2019 it set its new consecutive record at 15 million passengers. It is one of the 50 busiest in Europe. Up to 80% of all passenger flights are international.[4] The largest numbers of passengers arrive from the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium and Sweden.[5] Popular domestic destinations are Madrid, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona.


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 during the 1990s.[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] A new control tower was inaugurated in 1996 and became fully operational in February 1997.

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 and the dual door boarding thus enabled quicker turnaround times 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. On 12 July 2013, 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.[1][14]

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


Interior of Terminal N

Terminal N is the only terminal currently in service. Terminals 1 and 2 have been closed since the opening of Terminal N in 2011.

Terminal N[edit]

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 to depart from Terminal N was a Ryanair flight to Memmingen. The terminal has an area of 333,500 square metres (3,590,000 sq ft), 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 were the odd-numbered gates, and nine baggage reclaim carousels. It was closed after the opening of Terminal N on 24 March 2011. There are plans to reopen Terminal 1 in the future, which would require the construction of a connecting walkway with the current terminal, as both terminals are currently unconnected.[9]

Former Terminal 2[edit]

Terminal 2 (styled as T2) had 14 check-in desks numbered 51–64, six 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 Terminal N had opened on 24 March 2011, it was closed together with Terminal 1. Terminal 2 now handles General Aviation and will also soon be partially converted into a new overseas Headquarters for[17]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Aer Lingus Seasonal: Dublin
Aeroflot Moscow–Sheremetyevo[18][19]
Air Algérie Algiers, Oran, Tlemcen
Air Europa Madrid, Palma de Mallorca
Seasonal: Tenerife–North
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle[20]
Atlantic Airways Seasonal charter: Vágar[21]
Belavia Seasonal: Minsk
British Airways London–Gatwick (resumes 1 July 2021),[22] London–Heathrow (ends 30 June 2021)
Seasonal: Southampton (begins 26 June 2021)[23]
Brussels Airlines Brussels
easyJet Amsterdam, Basel/Mulhouse, Belfast–International, Bristol, Edinburgh, Geneva, Glasgow, Liverpool, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, Manchester
Seasonal: Birmingham (begins 30 June 2021),[24] Milan–Malpensa
Eurowings Düsseldorf, Stuttgart
Seasonal: Dortmund (begins 2 July 2021)[25]
Finnair Helsinki[26]
Iberia Regional Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca
Seasonal: A Coruña, Tenerife–North, Vigo[27]
Icelandair Seasonal charter: Reykjavík–Keflavík Belfast–International, Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, London–Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Seasonal: Bristol (begins 29 April 2022)[citation needed]
KLM Amsterdam
LOT Polish Airlines Seasonal: Warsaw–Chopin[28]
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich
Norwegian Air Shuttle[29] Bergen, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Oslo, Reykjavík–Keflavík, Sandefjord, Stavanger, Stockholm–Arlanda, Trondheim
Seasonal: Ålesund, Billund
Ryanair Aberdeen, Beauvais, Belfast-International, Bergamo, Berlin, Billund, Birmingham, Bologna, Bournemouth, Bristol, Brussels, Charleroi, Cologne/Bonn, Copenhagen, Cork, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Exeter, Frankfurt, Gdańsk, Glasgow–Prestwick, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Kaunas, Kraków, Leeds, Liverpool, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, London–Stansted, London–Southend, Maastricht/Aachen, Manchester, Marseille, Memmingen, Milan–Malpensa, Newcastle upon Tyne, Newquay, Porto, Poznań, Rome–Fiumicino, Sandefjord, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Shannon, Stockholm-Arlanda (begins 1 November 2021),[30] Stockholm–Skavsta, Treviso,[31] Vienna, Vitoria, Warsaw–Modlin, Wrocław
Seasonal: Bari (begins 3 July 2021),[32] Belfast–City (begins 1 June 2021),[33] Bordeaux, Bremen,[34] Glasgow, Haugesund, Ibiza (begins 2 July 2021),[34] Kerry, Knock, Lanzarote (begins 1 July 2021),[34] Nuremberg, Palma de Mallorca, Menorca (begins 1 July 2021),[34] Pardubice, Stockholm–Västerås, Teesside (begins 4 June 2021),[35] Tenerife–North, Toulouse, Växjö, Weeze
S7 Airlines Moscow–Domodedovo
Scandinavian Airlines Bergen, Oslo, Stavanger, Stockholm–Arlanda
Seasonal: Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Kristiansand, Trondheim
SkyUp Kiev–Boryspil
Swiss International Air Lines Seasonal: Geneva,[36] Zürich[37]
TAP Air Portugal Lisbon
Transavia Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Lyon (begins 12 June 2021),[38] Paris–Orly, Rotterdam/The Hague
TUI Airways Birmingham, Cardiff, Doncaster/Sheffield, East Midlands, Glasgow, London–Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Seasonal: Bristol
TUI fly Belgium Antwerp, Brussels, Charleroi, Liège, Ostend/Bruges
TUI fly Netherlands Amsterdam[39]
Seasonal: Eindhoven
Volotea Asturias, Bilbao
Seasonal: Luxembourg,[40] Lyon, Menorca,[41] Nantes, Naples, Venice
Vueling Algiers, Amsterdam, Asturias, Barcelona, Bilbao, Brussels, Cardiff, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, London–Gatwick, Milan–Malpensa, Oran, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Orly, Rome–Fiumicino, Tenerife–North, Zürich
Seasonal: Copenhagen (begins 19 June 2021),[42] Fuerteventura (begins 20 June 2021), Lanzarote, Menorca
Wizz Air Bucharest, Budapest, Cardiff (begins 20 May 2021),[43] Cluj-Napoca, Doncaster/Sheffield,[44][45] London–Luton (begins 18 May 2021),[citation needed] Sofia, Vienna
Seasonal: Oslo (begins 14 May 2021),[citation needed] Warsaw–Chopin


Passengers and movements[edit]

Alicante Airport Passenger Totals 2000–2020 (millions)
Updated: 19 June 2020.[1]
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 9,638,835 68,305 2,589
2014 10,066,067 71,571 2,637
2015 10,575,288 74,086 3,587
2016 12,344,945 87,113 5,461
2017 13,706,513 89,527 5,040
2018 13,981,320 96,734 4,013
2019 15,047,840 101,408 4,032
Source: Aena Statistics[1]

Busiest routes[edit]

Busiest Routes from Alicante–Elche Airport, January–December 2019
Rank Country Passengers Top Carriers
1 London Gatwick, United Kingdom 892,138 British Airways, EasyJet, Norwegian, Ryanair Group, TUI Group, Vueling
2 Manchester, United Kingdom 745,827 EasyJet, Jet2, Ryanair Group, TUI Group, Thomas Cook
3 Barcelona, Spain 448,546 Vueling
4 Amsterdam, Netherlands 436,483 EasyJet, KLM, Vueling
5 Brussels, Belgium 412,949 Lufthansa Group, Ryanair Group, TUI Group, Vueling
6 Birmingham, United Kingdom 409,468 Jet2, Ryanair Group, TUI Group
7 East Midlands, United Kingdom 403,673 Jet2, TUI Group, Ryanair Group
8 Oslo, Norway 381,664 Norwegian, SAS
9 Newcastle, United Kingdom 378,070 EasyJet, Jet2, Ryanair Group, TUI Group
10 London Stansted, United Kingdom 372,824 Jet2, Ryanair Group
11 Bristol, United Kingdom 367,353 EasyJet, Ryanair Group, TUI Group
12 Leeds Bradford, United Kingdom 330,331 Jet2, Ryanair Group
13 Luton, United Kingdom 317,087 EasyJet, Ryanair Group
14 Stockholm, Sweden 314,467 Norwegian, SAS
15 Madrid, Spain 299,927 Air Europa, Iberia
16 Palma de Mallorca, Spain 298,146 Air Europa, Iberia, Ryanair Group, Vueling

Busiest countries served[edit]

Busiest Countries from Alicante–Elche Airport, January–December 2019
Rank Countries Passengers Carriers
1  United Kingdom 5,598,054 British Airways (and BA Cityflyer), EasyJet, Jet2, Ryanair, TUI Airways, Vueling
2  Spain 1,550,745 Air Europa, Iberia (and Iberia Regional), Ryanair, Volotea, Vueling
3  Netherlands 919,171 EasyJet, KLM, Ryanair, Vueling, TUI fly Netherlands
4  Germany 915,864 EasyJet, Lufthansa, Ryanair, Eurowings, TUI fly Deutschland
5  Norway 766,289 Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair, SAS
6  Belgium 682,773 Brussels Airlines, Ryanair, TUI fly Belgium, Vueling
7  Sweden 565,904 Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair, SAS
8  France 387,474 Air France, Ryanair, Volotea, Vueling
9  Ireland 355,887 Aer Lingus, Ryanair
10  Denmark 335,437 Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair, SAS
11  Italy 319,768 EasyJet, Ryanair, Volotea, Vueling
12   Switzerland 275,872 EasyJet, Swiss, Vueling
13  Algeria 258,184 Air Algérie, Vueling
14  Russia 243,644 Aeroflot, S7 Airlines, Vueling
15  Poland 217,010 Ryanair, Wizzair
16  Finland 176,234 Finnair, Norwegian Air Shuttle

Busiest airlines[edit]

Top 15 Airlines in Alicante–Elche Airport during 2019
Rank Airline Passengers
1 Ryanair (base) 4,869,810Increase
2 easyJet, easyJet Europe & easyJet Switzerland 1,941,350 Increase
3 Vueling (base) 1,709,242 Increase
4 Norwegian Air International & Norwegian Air Shuttle (base) 1,365,214 Increase
5 Jet2 (base) 1,332,097 Increase
6 Transavia 616,110 Increase
7 TUI fly Belgium 355,815 Increase
8 TUI Airways 312,714 Decrease
9 SAS 300,455 Decrease
10 Air Nostrum (base) 283,530 Decrease
11 British Airways 204,031 Increase
12 Air Europa 195,769 Decrease
13 S7 Airlines 180,901 Increase
14 Air Algérie 164,637 Decrease
15 Wizz Air 147,892 Increase

Ground transport[edit]

Alicante airport is accessible by buses, taxis, and private cars on automobile road N-338. New car parking was opened in 2011 together with the new terminal. employs a modern sensor system with displays.

Rail link[edit]

The new terminal of the airport was built with space allocated for a railway station and an Alicante Tram stop. In 2019, the Generalitat Valenciana granted €50,000 towards a feasibility study in connecting Alicante Airport to the rail network. [46] The same year, the Ministry of Development put out to tender the contract to build the airport rail link to form part of the Cercanías Murcia/Alicante commuter rail network.[47]

Bus station[edit]

Alicante airport has one bus stop for all the bus lines operating at the airport. The bus stop at Alicante airport is located outside the departures area of the terminal on level 2. The airport is connected with the city of Alicante by the C6 bus line.[48] There are also hourly bus services to Benidorm and Torrevieja.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • In September 2013 a baby died at the airport shortly after arriving with relatives on a flight from London after the child's mother placed the baby in a carrier onto a conveyor belt used for bulky luggage items. The belt activated due to having detected the carrier's weight, and the baby became tangled in the machine's rollers.[49]
  • In January 2020 a fire in the international terminal's roof caused a 24-hour closure of the airport, with the diversion of 160 flights.[50]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Estadsticas – Aeropuertos Espaoles y Navegacin Area –". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  2. ^ Spanish AIP (AENA)
  3. ^[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b Antonio Martín (3 February 2018). "El Altet, de escala del correo francés a África al quinto aeropuerto español en 50 años". El Mundo. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  5. ^ Alicante Plaza (11 January 2017). "El Altet cierra 2016 con 12.344.945, su récord histórico" (in Spanish). Alicante Plaza. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  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 Old Alicante Airport Terminals to Reopen Archived 9 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine 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 Archived 12 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine 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 25 July 2016.
  16. ^ Alicante Airport New Terminal, AENA Archived 20 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine The airport in figures.
  17. ^ [2]
  18. ^ "Aeroflot announces a new route: Alicante-Elche – Moscow Sheremetyevo" (Press release). Foroblog of Alicante-Elche Airport. 25 February 2016. Archived from the original on 7 September 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Air France: new flights between Madrid and Paris Orly". 3 November 2019.
  21. ^ "Atlantic Airways announces a new charter route: Alicante-Elche – Vágar". Foroblog of Alicante-Elche Airport. 6 February 2016. Archived from the original on 7 September 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ Finnair adds frequencies to Japan and Europe for the upcoming winter season 14 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018
  27. ^ "Air Nostrum will fly from Vigo to Alicante, Las Palmas, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura". 17 January 2020.
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Route map".
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ a b c d "Ryanair unveils summer network expansion". 17 March 2021.
  35. ^ "'"Seismic Day" for Teesside Airport As Ryanair Revealed As Low-Cost Carrier'". Teesside Airport. 25 November 2020. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  36. ^ Ltd. 2018, UBM (UK). "Swiss expands Geneva European network from June 2019". Routesonline.
  37. ^ "SWISS Adds Zurich – Alicante Route in S16". 13 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  38. ^ "Transavia launches four new routes between Spain and France in June". hosteltur.comdate=17 March 2021.
  39. ^ "50 new routes starting in April 2021". 7 April 2021. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  40. ^
  41. ^ Liu, Jim. "Volotea outlines post-COVID 19 network expansion in S20". Routesonline. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^ "Wizz Air announces new base and major expansion at Doncaster Sheffield Airport". 13 August 2020.
  45. ^ Liu, Jim. "Wizz Air UK W20 new routes launch revision as of 24SEP20". Routesonline. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  46. ^ "Los accesos a El Altet, la variante de Benissa y unir la A-31 con la A-35, las inversiones de Fomento en 2019". Alicante Plaza (in Spanish). 14 January 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  47. ^ "Contract for first phase of Murcia-Alicante Airport rail link put out to tender". Murcia Today. 28 August 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  48. ^ "Bus Travel to and from Alicante Airport". Alicante Airport Website. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  49. ^ Williams, Rob (20 September 2013). "Five-month-old baby boy killed in freak accident on Spanish airport conveyor belt". The Independent. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  50. ^ "30,000 PASSENGERS AFFECTED BY ALICANTE-ELCHE AIRPORT FIRE". English Radio News. 16 January 2020. Retrieved 2 May 2021.

External links[edit]

Media related to Alicante Airport at Wikimedia Commons