Ryanair to run to over 70 European destinations from Costa Blanca this summer
Head of the Costa Blanca tourism trade association José Mancebo met with the Irish airline’s marketing and sales managers Dara Brady and Chiara Ravara this week to discuss strategy for encouraging new and existing holidaymaker output countries to travel to the province of Alicante.
During their video conference, which Alicante-Elche airport’s director Laura Navarro joined, it was revealed that new flight connections were on the cards from this month.
They include routes linking Alicante with Belfast (Northern Ireland, UK), Teesside (north-east England, UK), Venice Treviso, and Bari, both in Italy.
Existing routes to and from Alicante will continue in summer, and be reinforced.
Hopes are pinned on the British government’s decisions from late July onwards since at present, any entering the UK from ‘amber countries’ needs to take and pay for at least two PCR tests and quarantine for 10 days, or pay for a third PCR and quarantine for five days; as all of Spain except the Balearic Islands is on ‘amber’, this effectively precludes British residents from taking an annual holiday in the country until the restrictions are reviewed, or Spanish nationals living in the UK from popping ‘back home to stay with friends or family.
Contagion rates in Spain have risen slightly, but hospital admissions make up a much smaller percentage since the overwhelming majority of those now infected are between late teens and early 40s, a much lower-risk age bracket.
These ages correspond with the community which has not yet been vaccinated, or who have not had both doses yet – by now, almost everyone aged 40 or over will have had their first dose at least, and regional health authorities across the country are looking to bring forward the vaccine roll-out for the 19-to-39 age group in light of their now being the most likely to catch the virus.
Already, it has been promised that teenagers from 12 to 18 inclusive who are still at school, college or university will be given at least their first vaccine dose not less than two weeks before the September term starts.
However, the UK restrictions on traveling to Spain even include those who have been vaccinated.
This is likely to change imminently, but may not be in time to save the summer holiday season.
Not all countries impose quarantine on their residents returning home or visitors from Spain, meaning foreign holidaymakers are still expected this summer as long as they are able to meet the costs of PCR tests their countries require.
Also, September is still very much ‘summer’ in weather terms in Spain, even though the tourism industry starts to wind down in coastal parts, and very warm climates can still be experienced until almost November, so the industry nationwide is hoping for a late surge if restrictions are not lifted in time for peak season.
As for the Costa Blanca’s main airport, even in a bad year, it sees around five million passengers in total, says Mancebo – record years have caused this to more than double – and the tourism trade association manager told Ryanair’s management how grateful he was to the firm for continuing to keep close business ties with Alicante-Elche and focus on it with equal energy, even during lean times for the holiday sector.
Published think spain.com 09 July 2021