Alicante–Elche Airport

Alicante–Elche Airport
Aeropuerto de Alicante-Elche
Airport type Public
Operator Aena
Serves Alicante, Elche, Benidorm, Murcia and Albacete
Location Elche (Alicante)
Focus city 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
Location within Spain
Direction Length Surface
m ft
10/28 3,000 9,842 Asphalt / Concrete
Statistics (2017 (provisional))
Passengers 13.713.061
Passenger change 16-17 11.1%
Aircraft Movements 95,322
Movements change 16-17 9.4%
Sources: Passenger Traffic, AENA;[1] Spanish AIP, AENA[2][3]

Alicante–Elche Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto de Alicante-Elche, (IATA: ALC, ICAO: LEAL), originally named El Altet, is —as of 2017— 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, Evelop Airlines, 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 particular, in 2015, it handled 10,574,484 passengers.[5] Then, in 2016 it set its new record with almost 12,350,000 passengers,[6]; in 2017 it set its new consecutive record at 13.7 million passengers.[4] Altogether 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.[6] Popular domestic destinations are Madrid, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona.


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.[7] Iberia established a regular connections Alicante–Madrid and Alicante–Barcelona in November 1969.[8] 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.[7]

The next renovation took place during the 1990s.[8] A new office building together with operation and business centres were constructed. For the first time, five air bridges were installed to facilitate boarding.[8]

In 2011, the new terminal was opened at the airport increasing the annual airport capacity to 20 million passengers per year.[9] 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.[10]

Historically, up until 2003, Iberia was the leading airline at the airport.[11] With the decline of conventional airlines, in 2004 low-cost EasyJet took the lead.[11] In 2007, Ryanair, the largest European low-cost airline established a base in Alicante.[12] 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).[13]

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"[14] 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][15]

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.[16]


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

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 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.[17] 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

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 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.[10]

Former Terminal 2

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 the new terminal 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[18]

Airlines and destinations


Aeroflot Moscow–Sheremetyevo[19][20]
Aer Lingus Dublin
Seasonal: Cork
Air Algérie Algiers, Oran, Tlemcen
Air Europa Asturias, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife-North
Seasonal: Barcelona, Bilbao, Ibiza, Menorca, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Seville
Atlantic Airways Seasonal charter: Vágar[21]
Belavia Seasonal: Minsk
Blue Air Liverpool
Bravo Airways Seasonal: Kiev–Zhulhany
British Airways London–Gatwick
Seasonal: Manchester
Seasonal charter: Edinburgh, Glasgow
Brussels Airlines Brussels
easyJet Amsterdam, Belfast–International, Berlin–Tegel, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, London–Southend, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Seasonal: Milan–Malpensa
easyJet Switzerland Basel/Mulhouse, Geneva
Eurowings Düsseldorf, Stuttgart
Evelop Airlines Seasonal: Asturias, Bilbao, Girona, Gran Canaria, Málaga, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Tenerife–North, Tenerife–South, Valladolid
Finnair Helsinki[22]
Flybe Doncaster/Sheffield, Exeter, Norwich, Southampton
Iberia Regional Bilbao, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife–North
Seasonal: Carcassonne, León, Menorca, Vigo Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, London–Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Seasonal: Belfast–International
KLM Amsterdam
Laudamotion Berlin–Tegel (begins 30 October 2018), Düsseldorf (begins 30 October 2018)
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Luxair Seasonal: Luxembourg
Neos Seasonal charter: Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion
Norwegian Air Shuttle Ålesund, Bergen, Billund, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Gothenburg, Helsinki, London–Gatwick, Munich, Oslo, Reykjavík–Keflavík, Sandefjord, Stavanger, Stockholm–Arlanda, Tenerife–North, Trondheim
Seasonal: Aalborg, Hannover, Harstad/Narvik, Tromsø
Primera Air London–Stansted (ends 30 September 2018)
Seasonal: Reykjavík–Keflavík
Ryanair Aberdeen, Beauvais, Belfast–International, Bergamo, Berlin–Schönefeld, Billund, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bologna, Bremen, Bristol, Brussels, Charleroi, Cologne/Bonn, Copenhagen, Dublin, Düsseldorf, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Frankfurt, Gdańsk, Glasgow (ends 25 October 2018),[23] Glasgow–Prestwick, Gothenburg, Hahn, Hamburg, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Kaunas, Kraków, Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, London–Gatwick, London–Luton (begins 30 October 2018), London–Stansted, London-Southend (begins 2 April 2019), Maastricht/Aachen, Manchester, Memmingen, Milan–Malpensa,[24] Newcastle upon Tyne, Newquay, Poznań, Rome–Ciampino, Rome–Fiumicino, Santiago de Compostela, Sandefjord/Torp, Sevilla (begins 01 October 2018), Shannon, Stockholm–Skavsta, Warsaw–Modlin, Weeze
Seasonal: Cork, Haugesund, Kerry, Knock, Pardubice, Nuremberg, Västerås, Växjö, Wrocław
S7 Airlines Moscow–Domodedovo, Saint Petersburg
Scandinavian Airlines Bodø, Oslo, Stavanger, Stockholm–Arlanda
Seasonal: Bergen, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Kristiansand, Trondheim
Swiss International Air Lines Seasonal: Zürich[25]
TAP Air Portugal Lisbon
TAROM Seasonal: Bucharest
Thomas Cook Airlines Manchester[26]
Seasonal: Glasgow (ends 2 November 2018)[27]
Transavia Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Rotterdam
Transavia France Paris–Orly
Travel Service Seasonal charter: Bratislava, Katowice, Warsaw–Chopin, Wrocław
TUI Airways Birmingham, Cardiff, Doncaster/Sheffield, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London–Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Seasonal: Bristol
TUI fly Belgium Antwerp, Brussels, Charleroi, Liège, Ostend/Bruges
Ukraine International Airlines Ivano–Frankivsk
Charter: Kiev–Boryspil[28]
Volotea Asturias, Marseille
Seasonal: Bordeaux, Lyon, Nantes, Toulouse, Venice
Vueling Algiers, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bilbao, Brussels, Cardiff, Ibiza, Milan–Malpensa, Nantes, Oran, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Orly, Rome–Fiumicino, Santiago de Compostela, Saint Petersburg, Tenerife–South, Zürich
Seasonal: Marseille, Menorca
Yanair Seasonal: Kiev–Boryspil
Wizz Air Bucharest, Budapest, Cluj–Napoca, Sofia
Seasonal: Warsaw–Chopin
WOW air Seasonal: Reykjavík–Keflavík


DHL Aviation Tangier, Vitoria


Passengers and movements

Alicante Airport Passenger Totals 2000–2017 (millions)
Updated: 11 January 2017. 2017 data Provisional[1]
PassengersAircraft movementsCargo (tonnes)
2000 6,038,26656,4277,745
2001 6,542,12156,5507,923
2002 7,010,32259,2686,548
2003 8,195,45466,5715,848
2004 8,571,14471,3876,036
2005 8,795,70576,1095,193
2006 8,893,72076,8134,931
2007 9,120,63179,7564,533
2008 9,578,30481,0975,982
2009 9,139,60774,2813,199
2010 9,382,93574,4743,112
2011 9,913,76475,5723,011
2012 8,855,76462,4682,527
2013 9,638,83568,3052,589
2014 10,066,06771,5712,637
2015 10,575,28874,0863,587
2016 12,344,94587,1135,461
2017 13,706,51389,5275,040
2018* 1,417,66610,5570,628
Source: Aena Statistics[1]

Busiest routes

Busiest Routes from Alicante–Elche Airport, January–December 2016
Rank Country Passengers Top Carriers
1 London–Gatwick, United Kingdom 831,403 British Airways, easyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair, Thomson Airways
2 Manchester, United Kingdom 815,873 easyJet, Jet2, Ryanair, Thomson Airways
3 Amsterdam, Netherlands 394,803 KLM, Vueling, Corendon, Transavia, TUI Airlines Netherlands
4 East Midlands, United Kingdom 394,008 Jet2, Ryanair, Thomson Airways
5 Birmingham, United Kingdom 367,145 Ryanair, Thomson Airways, Vueling
6 Newcastle, United Kingdom 343,366 easyJet, Jet2, Ryanair, Thomson Airways
7 Barcelona, Spain 336,349 Vueling
8 Oslo, Norway 325,862 Norwegian Air Shuttle, SAS
9 Leeds, United Kingdom 314,598 Jet2, Ryanair
10 Bristol, United Kingdom 313,691 easyJet, Ryanair, Thomson Airways
11 Brussels, Belgium 305,044 Brussels Airlines, Jetairfly, Ryanair, Vueling
12 Madrid, Spain 282,854 Air Europa, Air Nostrum
13 Copenhagen, Denmark 239,352 Norwegian Air Shuttle, Primera Air, Ryanair, SAS
14 Luton, United Kingdom 239,324 easyJet
15 Dublin, Ireland 235,535 Aer Lingus, Ryanair
16 London–Stansted, United Kingdom 234,747 Ryanair

Busiest countries served

Busiest Countries from Alicante–Elche Airport, January–December 2016
Rank Countries Passengers Top Carriers
1 United Kingdom 5,898,042 British Airways, EasyJet, Flybe, Jet2, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Monarch, Ryanair, Thomas Cook, Thomson Airways, Vueling
2 Spain 1,385,603 Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Evelop, Ryanair, Vueling
3 Netherlands 925,087 KLM, Ryanair, Vueling, Transavia, Tui Netherlands
4 Germany 887,962 Air Berlin, easyJet, Eurowings, Lufthansa, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair, Transavia
5 Norway 756,228 Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair, SAS
6 Belgium 641,215 Brussels Airlines, Jetairfly, Ryanair, Vueling
7 Sweden 577,849 Norwegian Air Shuttle, Primera Air, Ryanair, SAS
8 Ireland 332,187 Aer Lingus, Ryanair
9 Denmark 317,668 Norwegian Air Shuttle, Primera Air, Ryanair, SAS
10 France 295,419 Ryanair, Volotea, Vueling
11 Switzerland 269,419 SWISS, Vueling, easyJet
12 Italy 255,900 easyJet, Ryanair, Volotea, Vueling
13 Algeria 247,057 Air Algérie, Vueling
14 Russia 227,748 Aeroflot, S7 Airlines, Vueling
15 Poland 208,404 Ryanair, Travel Service, Wizzair
16 Finland 144,483 Finnair, Norwegian Air Shuttle

Busiest airlines

Top 16 Airlines in Alicante–Elche Airport during 2016
Rank Airline Passengers
1 Ryanair (base) 2,992,984
2 easyJet & easyJet Switzerland 1,483,707
3 Vueling (base) 1,093,494
4 Norwegian Air Shuttle & Norwegian Air International (base) 893,319
5 Monarch 648,141
6 Jet2 (base) 634,163
7 Transavia 416,063
8 Air Berlin 384,478
9 Thomson 310,656
10 Air Nostrum (base) 276,849
11 TUIfly Belgium 255,931
12 SAS 234,576
13 Air Europa 207,842
14 Air Algérie 161,990
15 British Airways 128,212
16 S7 Airlines 107,383

Ground transport

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


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Estadsticas - Aeropuertos Espaoles y Navegacin Area -". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  2. Spanish AIP (AENA)
  4. 1 2 3 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. 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. 1 2 Alicante Plaza (11 January 2017). "El Altet cierra 2016 con 12.344.945, su récord histórico" (in Spanish). Alicante Plaza. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  7. 1 2 Alicante Airport
  8. 1 2 3 "History - Alicante-Elche Airport - Aena". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  9. Alicante Airport New Terminal
  10. 1 2 Old Alicante Airport Terminals to Reopen Archived 9 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine. by Mark Nolan, The Leader Newspaper, 2011-12-09
  11. 1 2 New terminal should help Alicante pass 10 million mark this summer; Ryanair now accounts for one-third of traffic, Airport Analysis, 23 March 2011
  12. Ryanair announces 21st base in Alicante, Spain Archived 12 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Ryanair News Release, 09.08.07
  13. Ryanair suprime 31 rutas en el aeropuerto de El Altet Las Provincias, 26.10.11
  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 Archived 20 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. The airport in figures.
  17. "Aeroflot announces a new route: Alicante-Elche - Moscow Sheremetyevo" (Press release). Foroblog of Alicante-Elche Airport. 25 February 2016.
  19. "Atlantic Airways announces a new charter route: Alicante-Elche - Vágar" (Press release). Foroblog of Alicante-Elche Airport. 6 February 2016.
  20. Finnair adds frequencies to Japan and Europe for the upcoming winter season 14 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018
  23. "SWISS Adds Zurich - Alicante Route in S16". 13 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  26. "UIA extends ALC-KBP in W15" (Press release). 4 September 2015.

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