While San Javier airport is once again celebrating an increase in the number of passengers that have passed through its doors during the first 9 months of the year, a total of 1.046 million which represents an increase of 6.5% on 2017, according to the local Murcia Newspaper, La Opinion, Ryanair has finally said that it will be moving its operation to Corvera.

From the spring of 2019 the Irish Airline will fly from Corvera to eleven destinations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany, albeit fewer than the number that it operated this year. 

The newspaper reports that for the moment Ryanair have confirmed their intention to continue flying to Birmingham, Dublin, East Midlands, Leeds-Bradford, London Luton, London Stansted and Manchester.

These will be the routes that must be transferred to Corvera when the new airport comes into service on 15 January.

Starting in March, Ryanair will add the cities of Eindhoven, in Holland; Frankfurt, in Germany; and Glasgow Prestwick and Bournemouth in the United Kingdom to its Murcia routes.

By contrast, British Airways, which belongs to the same group as Iberia and Vueling, has decided to leave the region later this month with no intention of returning to Corvera in 2019.

The deadline by which airlines need to request their inclusion in Corvera’s flight plans for the summer campaign is the end of October, so there is a possibility that more could be added. However, after this date companies may not make use of the operations that have not been authorised.

On their site however, the English language website Murciatoday.com say that the official line from the Ryanair press office is still “We do not make comments on negotiations which are on-going”.  However they also stated that they are fully aware of the current uncertainty regarding their Murcia schedules, as also are the local authorities who are extremely keen to see the new airport off to a running start. 

Over 1.2 million passengers are expected to travel through San Javier Airport in 2018, but according to the former head of Aena, Jaime Garcia Legaz, that number is expected to drop significantly at Corvera during the first year of operation so although Jet2.com and EasyJet are already committed, a lot will quite obviously still depend on those Ryanair negotiations.