- Alicante-Elche airport are to increase police personnel at passport control
Alicante-Elche airport is amongst 12 key airports in Spain announced Spanish Interior Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, saying extra police are being deployed to ease chaos.
In Madrid 15,000 people have lost connecting flights, due to a lack of personnel and long queues, along with Barcelona, Alicante-Elche, Malaga and Palma.
The central government said it is dealing with the situation and that it has already launched its annual plan to handle an increase in passengers at key moments during the summer.
During the Easter period additional staff were in situ at passport control to handle the increase in passengers.
The Spanish tourist industry have aired their concerns for extra National Police and Guardia Civil to be deployed to key airports.
They pointed out to the Home Office, the need for British tourists to have their passports stamped on entry and departure is slowing the process down even more and damaging Spain’s image.
Continuing airport chaos is still affecting thousands of British travellers with more widespread flight cancellations in June.
easyJet cancelled 50 flights with London’s Gatwick airport, Wizz Air and British Airways also cancelling dozens of flights from Heathrow.
Almost 200 flights into UK airports were cancelled from airlines including easyJet, British Airways and Wizz Air leaving passengers stuck abroad.
After many travellers ended up stranded at airports across Europe this month, EasyJet cancelled more flights.
British Airways also cancelled 100 short-haul flights, saying passengers affected were given advanced notice being part of a schedule reduction in place until October.
A structural reinforcement of National Police officers will be in place at the twelve main airports in Spain after the interior ministry saying tmeetings with police and the airports authority Aena had taken place regarding resourcing, once air traffic recovered following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meetings ended with an agreement that police deployment at the main airports will be from June 20, from a reinforcement from 500 officers.
The additional personnel will be 50 assigned to Palma Son Sant Joan, 189 at Spain’s busiest airport, Madrid-Barajas, and 90 for the second busiest – Barcelona-El Prat.
The rest of the officers will be deployed at Alicante-Elche, Malaga, Valencia, Menorca, Ibiza, Tenerife South, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria.
The number of police at Spanish airports will increase from 1,456 in 2019 to 1,726.
The interior ministry stated that there have not been any complaints from Aena or from passengers about delays at passport controls.
The ministry said: “We reiterate that there are no queues or delays that go beyond specific situations generated by the coincidence of several flights coming from outside the Schengen area. There is no evidence that these have resulted in missing flights.”
The ministry is denying claims by Iberia that 15,000 passengers at Madrid have missed flights.
Iberia and the IATA International Air Transport Association have been highly critical of the interior ministry’s management of the airports.
The Mesa del Turismo de España a leading figure in Spain’s tourism and travel industry, said: “There is a situation of chaos and we have called on the tourism minister, Reyes Maroto, to mediate.”