Bad news to end the year for Alicante-Elche airport as Air Berlin has announced a restructuring package that will cancel five of the six routes that it operates out of the airport.
Some years ago the airline was the first to gamble on the recovery of air connections between Alicante and Germany but now it seems to have had second thoughts.
Starting from next week, and coinciding with the start of the new year, Air Berlin will stop all of its scheduled flights to Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Zurich and Vienna, retaining only the link with Düsseldorf.
However the decision, linked to the economic problems currently facing the company, will not have too much of an impact on the operation of the provincial terminal, as other companies (Ryanair, easyjet, Transavia and Norwegian Airlines) have all expanded their programs to and from Germany with Ryanair now flying regularly to Bremen, Cologne, Berlin, Baden Baden, Munich, Nuremberg, Düsselsdorf, Frankfurt and Hamburg.
In a press release issue by Air Berlin, the company has said that, for the moment, the flights are cancelled only until the end of the low season that finishes the 27 of March, the day coincidentally, on which the company will start a direct link to Munich.
The withdrawal of the Air Berlin routes will affect the movement of about 800,000 passengers to Germany although they are all expected to be picked up by the other airlines.
Air Berlin is one of the companies that has grown in the Mediterranean over the last 15 years offering with not only direct routes from Alicante, but also with the creation of a base of operations in Mallorca.
Meanwhile Norwegian Airlines has put on sale this month flights of its two new routes between Alicante and Germany which will begin operating from 4 June 2017. The Norwegian airline will link Alicante with the provincial airports in Dusseldorf and Hannover, routes that will join those already operating with Munich, Cologne and Hamburg. All these flights are already on sale from 39 euros one way.
The two new destinations will offer Norwegian 220,000 extra seats to Germany, 170,000 to Düsseldorf and another 50,000 to Hannover.