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Two major airports in Spain ‘are on the brink of collapse’ as record passenger numbers put a strain on resources – Olive Press News Spain


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SOARING tourism numbers are threatening to overwhelm airports in two of Spain’s most popular holiday destinations.

Both Valencia Manises and Alicante-Elche airports are experiencing record passenger volumes, raising concerns about their ability to cope with the summer rush and potentially impacting flight operations.

April saw a 9.5% year-on-year increase in passengers at Valencia Manises, reaching a record 945,513.

With 2024 already surpassing a third of the airport’s 10.5 million capacity before the summer season has started in earnest, experts are worried that a summer surge could trigger operational issues and travel delays.

READ MORE: Malaga airport set for another record breaking summer: Officials anticipate breaking the 600 flights a day barrier in July

Alicante-Eche airport is set to struggle under increasing demand if it does not receive a new terminal

Aena, Spain’s airport management company, has proposed an expansion project starting late 2024 or early 2025, but completion wouldn’t occur until 2027. 

This delay has tourism officials like Nuria Montes, Valencian Tourism Councillor, urging immediate action.

She said: “Valencia Airport must be expanded – it’s on the verge of collapse.” 

The Council of Chambers predicts significant economic losses exceeding €900 million and a potential loss of 17,500 jobs per year if the airport isn’t upgraded.

Similar concerns plague Alicante-Elche, the gateway to the Costa Blanca. 

The airport witnessed a record April with 1.59 million passengers, a 10.8% increase on 2023. 

Local reports highlight long taxi queues and immigration delays, indicating infrastructure struggling to handle the current influx.

Carlos Baño, president of the Alicante Chamber of Commerce, warns of economic disaster with potential losses exceeding €780 million and 14,800 jobs at risk if a second runway isn’t constructed between 2024 and 2030.

READ MORE: Malaga says Costa del Sol train project is essential for the province to continue growing

However, other sources have dismissed these concerns to the Olive Press.

“The only actual current issue is late evening taxi problems at Alicante, which happens every year and nobody does anything about it. 

“Yes there are worries that both airports will not cope over the next few years, which is why Alicante will get a new terminal,” the source said.

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