• Quote: ‘It’s been 10 months since we were last here. We missed Christmas, February and May’ – Josie Harrison

By Andrew Atkinson

Alicante-Elche airport in El Altet is getting back on track amid the coronavirus pandemic that lead to lockdown in Spain – bringing the airport to an almost standstill.

Data published by Aena, relating to passenger numbers in May was 6,099% higher than in April 2020.

A further increase in international flights during June is expected – despite the UK Government keeping Spain on the traffic lights Amber list.

Passengers in May was 219,839 in contrast of the 1.4 million in May 2019.

In April 2021 there were 1,542 landings and take-offs at Alicante-Elche airport, rising to 2,346 in May.

Summer flights are picking-up apace in June from additional destinations, despite COVID-19 measures affecting a plethora of holidays.

Visitors from the UK are returning for summer vacations either by flight, road, or ferry.

In Spain Aena reports that the number of passengers arriving and departing on both international and domestic flights during the first five months of 2021 was 17.8 million, a decrease of 82.3 per cent from 2019.

The busiest airports in 2021 are Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas (4.82 million passengers – a fall of 79.7 per cent since 2019) and Barcelona El Prat (down by 87.5 per cent to 2.46 million).

Bob and Josie Harrison who live in Derby returned to Los Montesinos on June 20, after an absence of 10 months, travelling by car from Calais through the tunnel.

Talking to The Leader, Josie said: “It’s been 10 months since we were last here. We would have had Christmas, February for one month, and a week in May.”

Bob said: “Two things have changed everything, Brexit and COVID-19. Covid will eventually be less severe – and the situation across the world will get back to some sort of normality.

“However the EU restrictions on travel to Europe are more of a problem. For both EU countries and Brits. We both lose out.”

Bob added: “We are looking forward to seeing all our friends again in Spain, visiting the restaurants – and of course the sun – not forgetting the relaxed lifestyle.”

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and easyJet are amongst airlines who have cancelled flights until July 19 at the earliest.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Covid restrictions would be in place until July 19, casting doubts over an early lifting of travel restrictions and an end to the controversial traffic light system.

Toni Mayor, a spokesperson for hoteliers in Valencia, said UK outbound passenger traffic will be vastly reduced.

“The overall infection levels in Spain are still high in places and the picture is uneven, so I think we will have to wait,” he said.




Bob and Josie Harrison: Looking forward to seeing friends again in Spain.