Bringing forward the reopening of some borders by a week, announced by the Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez at the weekend, has caught many of the low cost airlines unprepared, but as they now look to reinstate their schedules, many of them intend to take advantage of that ‘extra’ week at Alicante-Elche airport.
Among those airlines is Ryanair, which has already announced the return of flights to other Spanish airports (Catalonia and Andalusia) and plans to do the same with the El Altet terminal.
The first route that Ryanair will recover at Alicante-Elche will be to Italy which could be in place before the end of June. The airline is already selling flights between Alicante and Milan, Rome airport, Bologna and Cagliari airport. In Spain, it will begin by linking the Costa Blanca with Palma de Mallorca and Santiago de Compostela.
Despite not being able to fly to its main destination of UK, Ryanair will start operating flights to EU or domestic destinations from June 21. These airlines include two Spanish companies, Volotea and Vueling, and some foreign companies, such as Air France and Brussels Airlines.
At this stage Alicante-Elche airport has not made any changes to its programming, according to Aena sources, who say it is likely that as the reopening date approaches, later this week, the programming will begin to be configured, as scheduling a route can be done relatively quickly if there are available slots, as is the case with an airport at this time operating at minimum capacity.
Volotea will link Alicante with Ibiza, Menorca and Palma three times a week, and will gradually add international destinations. Vueling, meanwhile, will fly between Alicante and Barcelona, Bilbao, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Tenerife (North) in terms of domestic destinations, as well as international routes to Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Cardiff, Algiers and Oran.
Air France could also bring forward its flights (initially planned to open them on July 1), with the French airline flying between Alicante airport -Elche and Paris, in addition to code-share flights with Air Europe. And Brussels Airlines, which has already confirmed that it will fly in June with the recovery of 30% of its usual schedule, will link the El Altet terminal with cities in Belgium.