It’s early days yet, but predictions for increased visitor numbers to the Costa Blanca this year seem to be justified following the release of official air traffic statistics at Spain’s airports for the month of February.
According to the latest figures published by Aena, Alicante-Elche airport carried 492,724 passengers during the month, registering an increase of 9.6% on February 2013, and bringing the total back up a little closer to the all-time February high of 595,153 in 2008 when the construction boom was at its absolute peak and was about to start nosediving.
As has become usual at the El Altet facility, around 40% of the passengers were flying to and from the UK, with the next busiest routes being internal Spanish flights (14.6%) and those connecting Alicante with Germany (8%), Holland (7%) and Norway (6.9%). In spite of the much publicised cry from tourism officials of “The Russians are coming!”, it seems that the Russians have chosen to remain resolutely in Cataluña, their favourite haunt, and passengers from Russia still account for only 2.3% of the El Altet total.
As is to be expected, the number of flights shows the same kind of distribution and trend: there were 3,726 flights into and out of Alicante during the month, 13.1% more than last year, of which 35.5% were to and from the UK and 18.5 were domestic.
The February figures continue the trend set in January, and the accumulated total of passengers this year is now 8.5% higher than at 28th February 2013: with the winter timetables lasting until the end of March, similar results can also be expected in the next set of figures, relating to March.
As for the other operational airport in the Comunitat Valenciana, the Manises facility in the regional capital has so far carried 511,000 passengers this year, 3.1% fewer than at the same point in 2013.
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