The Spanish airport authority, AENA, who are responsible for operations at Alicante, El Altet, has announced that they have received 15% more requests for flight slots in summer 2012, which includes new operators flying to 14 of the 15 destinations that the withdrawal of Ryanair would have affected.
Although Ryanair has yet to officially respond to the latest court ruling, or to AENA´s offer to allow them to use bus connections to the terminal building, it is believed that the airline are planning to reinstate some of their withdrawn routes in March. They have listed flights on their website between El Altet and various previously withdrawn airports, including Bournemouth, Cork, Kerry and Knock.
That aside, from April, WOWAIR will offer two new weekly flights from Alicante to Reykjavik in Iceland and Zurich, increasing frequency as the year progresses with Swiss airline Edelweiss Air.
As previously reported, Air Berlin announced direct flights to Nuremberg, in addition to those already operating in Munich, Hamburg and Berlin.
Jet2.com will open a link with Edinburgh and increase frequencies to Belfast, East Midlands (Nottingham) and Newcastle. Easyjet will add a new route to the fourth airport in London (Southern) and Bmibaby will operate to Belfast-City airport.
The Russian market will also be strengthened this year, in line with the influx from this part of the world, with direct flights to Moscow from June 2012 with two regular daily flights operated by Siberia Airlines, which currently connects the Costa Blanca and Russia three times per week, and Aeroflot which will begin a direct route from Alicante to Sheremetyevo. In addition, the province will have from April a weekly charter flight to St. Petersburg.
Sweden will strengthen the link with Scandinavian Airlines to Stockholm from late June. Norway will benefit with the extension of a new destination launched this winter to Alesund, along with a strengthening of connections to Oslo.
Finland will have an additional frequency operated by Norwegian airlines to Helsinki, and Belgium will increase its connections with the extension of a link to Charleroi, operated by Air Berlin from this winter.
Alicante airport saw 10 million passengers in 2011, which was an increase of 500,000 on the previous year. With the latest announcements of route extensions, the airport is setting its place as one of the major hubs in air travel across Europe and beyond.