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Aena Operator Of Alicante Airport To Lose 600,000 Passengers And 600 Jobs
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Aena Operator Of Alicante Airport to Lose 600,000 Passengers And 600 Jobs

Now we have confirmation of the news that everyone in the tourism, hospitality and property sectors in the Alicante region or Spain dreaded. Ryanair the Irish airline are pulling out of Alicante airport in the spring unless AENA come to their senses. There is always a reduction in flights over the quiet winter period but usually the flights return again in spring. But next spring this is unlikely.

Deadlines have passed and AENA the Spanish airport operator appear to have dug their heels in and are refusing to adapt to reality. “Why should they”, passenger numbers for 2012 are down one million on the same period the year before! Just what is needed when an economy is in recession? The loss of a major supplier of international passengers to a major airport.

The ridiculous decision by AENA to insist that Ryanair uses air-bridges to embark and disembark passengers means that Ryanair will move their flights and passengers to other airports.

It appears AENA have decided that they don’t care if they lose 10% of their flights. They don’t care if they lose 600,000 passengers. They don’t care if their decision costs 600 jobs with the airline and their airport and they don’t care if their action costs more job losses and misery for the local economy which is only just showing signs of recovery.

It is not that Ryanair are “the worlds' favourite airline”. They are Europe’s largest low-cost airline and probably most important. I have flown with them hundreds of times over the last 15 years all over Europe. I would never give them a customer service award although they are professional at what they do. I would best describe them as ruthless. Provided you know what you are dealing with they are superb but also a bit like holding a tiger by its tail! Travel with luggage overweight or the wrong size at your peril. If you want to call them, it will be premium rate, booking the wrong flight will be costly and if you arrive late for your flight do not expect it to wait or a seat on the next flight without paying again at the maximum rate. On the other hand book early or wisely and sometimes you can fly for almost nothing and if you are lucky, free. If you book online, make sure you have printed your boarding pass and travel using the correct hand luggage then they are brilliant. If you want to fly all over Europe, cheaply, they are excellent.

Alicante airport has changed greatly over the last few years. It is definitely better but what is the point if you can’t use it. Until recently there was one terminal. Thanks to airlines like Ryanair, Easyjet, Jet2 and other low-cost airlines demand grew and a second terminal was opened. It was decided that in the late 00’s as the global economy was shrinking and gloom was spreading the world that they would build a new Airport Terminal to replace the existing ones. I have no idea why, Alicante had always been one of those airports that worked. You could get in and out quickly and I never had any real problems. Air-bridges were used by some flights, other gates used buses or you walked to the aircraft steps. There were obviously things that needed improving, it was a little tired in places and I am sure there are those that would disagree but why it needed rebuilding I do not know. I am the first to admit, the new terminal, shops, restaurants etc are much better than what it replaced. Hundreds of millions of Euros have been pumped into the economy and the end result is impressive. So there is good in what has been done.

Low-cost airlines look at everything that costs money or consumes time and find ways to remove it from their process if possible. Turning a plane around quickly and keeping it in the air is vital. When in the air it is making money. If you can squeeze an extra flight per day out of a plane then it covers its’ multi-million purchase and operating cost much better which can result in lower fares for all passengers. Your typical Boeing or Airbus has two doors. It is much faster to empty and fill a plane when you use both of them. I am not an aviation expert but “two doors is faster than one” is common sense.

But now it looks like the debate is over, the argument is lost and Ryanair will withdraw most of its flights from Alicante airport unless AENA change their stance. I will still no doubt use the airport and other airlines but much less, I will use other airports like Murcia San Javier and probably the new Corvera airport instead. Including visiting family and friends there were over ten flights in and out of Alicante from the UK last year that will not be repeated without Ryanair. That is a lot of car parking fees, petrol, snacks, duty-free, taxis, car rental, meals and other shopping that will no longer help the local Alicante economy.

So to all those in the area who experience less business please send your comments to AENA preferably written on cloth so their executives can use them to polish their shiny new air-bridges which they are so fond of.


Street Talk

Thanks for the feedback. Common sense is rarely used in Spain, too much stubborn pride and ignoring gravity. No wonder their country is in such a mess.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
Sylvia2  

Yes, higher up people don't care .........as long as their bank accounts are more than stable. It's like that all over the world. Sad, eh? Yes, "two doors is faster than one" is common sense. But what's "common sense" these days. No one barely uses common sense anymore. Even that is out of the window too. Good article.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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