The figures for passenger numbers at Alicante airport do not make good reading. Last month, there were 16% fewer passengers. Last year the airport received 9,913,731 passengers, the highest in its history. It looks like this year numbers will drop by 11%.
One of the main problems has been the long running dispute with Ryanair. The company promised to bring 600,000 new passengers to the airport next year but only if they could walk onto the aircraft rather than use the airbridges. Aena says that safety concerns make that impossible at the moment. They are in the process of setting out new parking areas where passengers can embark and disembark using footbridges but that is too late for Ryanair who say they will take their business elsewhere.
You know, I can’t help but feel that these issues should have been sorted out before the new terminal was constructed or at the latest, when construction was under way so that provision could be made for airlines that want to cut costs to the bone.
From a passenger point of view, it is preferable to use and airbridge than walk across the tarmac especially in winter when it is raining, or there is a strong wind blowing but are we prepared to pay for that?
Ryanair say that using airbridges costs them more in terms of turn around time, which along with the extra charges for the use of an airbridge, reduces their competitive edge.