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Air Berlin to cut routes at Alicante airport

Sun 25th Sep 2011
Air Berlin to cut routes at  Alicante airport

Alicante's El Altet airport is facing an uncertain future. Despite record passenger numbers and a new terminal building in the first six months of 2011, the AENA operated airport has suffered a second setback in less than a week.

On Monday Ryanair announced that they would be cutting 22 of their 57 routes. Observers have put the 40% reduction in services down to the airlines failing relationship with AENA, specifically with El Altet's instance that they use air bridges for the disembarking of all passengers - something which will come at a cost to the airline.

However, now Air Berlin have announced that they too will cut routes between Alicante and many other European destinations.

The German owned budget airline has cancelled 5 direct flights - 18 planes in total - from El Altet airport as the company puts a tough cost cutting scheme into operation which will save an estimated Ä200 Million. Air Berlin has blamed the seasonality of traffic at El Altet, as well as falling numbers of German tourists coming to the region.

Europa Press has reported a spokesman of the airlines as having commented that another problem is that the Germans donít like the British, and the Brits are the majority in Benidorm hotels. The cuts will take effect from November and will see the number of direct destinations from Alicante reduced by 45%. The lost destinations are Frankfort, Munich, Nuremburg, Stuttgart and Zurich. The airlines connections to Berlin, Hamburg and Palma remain.

The troubles of Alicante's El Altet airport may be a source of optimism for Aeromur, the regionally owned operators of the new Corvera International Airport, and may even influence the outcome of the ongoing negotiations between AENA and the regional government of Murcia.