Sunday, March 7

The airport recovers the direct link with Moscow lost in 2020


Passenger controls to check negative PCR at the airport.  |  RAFA ARJONES

Passenger controls to check negative PCR at the airport. | RAFA ARJONES

A respite for him Alicante-Elche airport. The airport terminal of the province has recovered regular flights with Russia, specifically with Moscow, thanks to the weekly programming of the Siberian company, which in this way returns to operate with the Costa Blanca, a destination with which it stopped working after the outbreak of the covid pandemic, and despite being one of the most demanded areas of Spain by Russians, both from conventional tourism ( impossible today due to restrictions), as well as residential, and also due to Russian colony that lives and works in the province. The conditions for Russian travelers to land on the Costa Blanca are the same as for other tourists: it is necessary to own a home. In addition, there is a large colony of Russian workers in the province who frequently travel to their country.

Russian tourism continues to be one of the sector’s priorities as a complementary market to the British and Spanish. We talk about a very large country, with spending power and eager for vacations. 2019 – the last year for which there is data since 2020 was lost by the covid – closed with some 300,000 Russian visitors. Russia has a GDP of 1,540 trillion euros, inflation of 6.5% and an unemployment rate of 6.1%. Its economic situation is stable thanks to oil.

For the Russians, the province of Alicante is considered the ideal place for Russians, counting, until now, with the best average temperature in mainland Spain, good prices and quality, perfectly communicated from the airport and safe. A space shielded against crime and with good health care. There are two distinct groups of Russian tourists. Those who have their own home or rent it, who demand, above all, tranquility, and good food, choosing products that, in Moscow, are either very expensive, or do not have the quality of Alicante, such as fruit, vegetables, fish and fashion.

The other profile is the conventional one, the tourist who arrives between April and October. Families with children who find the beach and gastronomy the magic formula to face the harsh Russian winter afterwards.

Russia is the second country of origin of visitors to Spain with the highest average expenditure per trip and since 2010 it has tripled its total spending. In 2019 the tourist spent 168 million euros in the Valencian Community, with an average expenditure per person and trip of 2,042 euros and an average daily expenditure of 126 euros. The province is the fourth most visited destination by Russians in Spain, with a 6.8% share.

Currently, the number of tourists visiting Spain is estimated at one million travelers and their reason for visiting is vacation leisure, with a segment highly identified with families and preferably hotel accommodation, in 85% of cases.

On the other hand, apart from the Russians who arrive in the province through the El Altet airport, many citizens of the Russian Federation enter Spain through the El Prat and Barajas airports, traveling later by road. Almost all Russians come from Moscow and St. Petersburg.

On the other hand, the Spanish company Vueling, of the IAG group, will reinforce its commitment to the Nordic market from June and thus ensure connectivity with a market of great interest to the tourism sector. The airline will operate a new route from Alicante-Elche airport to Copenhagen. The flights will be operated from June 19, with three weekly flights, every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

New slump in January with only 77,325 passengers

The airport has started 2020 following its free fall and last January it closed with a total of 77,325 passengers, 89% less than in January 2020 when there was still no trace of the covid and it was possible to travel without problems. What’s more, in January 2020 the terminal touched 900,000 passengers. A year later and due to restrictions, the figure did not even reach one hundred thousand travelers. Both Aena and the airlines that operate in the provincial terminal hope that after a first semester that will still be tough, the situation will begin to change in April when the return of the British airlines is expected.

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