New Murcia airport to start flights in December (and please tell them when San Javier will close, whinges Sacyr)

The new international airport at Murcia, Corvera airport, will start trialling commercial flights in December, according to local paper La Opinion de Murcia.

AENA, the airports operator, has submitted a request to the Spanish flight authorities AESA to open the air routes as from mid December. If the paperwork cannot be filed in time (ah, España!) it will be January.

After a short test period, the airport will hopefully be declared fully open by April or May 2012, and commercial flights will start redirecting from San Javier to Corvera.

Jet2, the Bradford based low cost airline, has already confirmed that as from November 2012 it will only operate from Corvera, and will drop its current San Javier route, becoming the first UK airline to publically announce this.

Meanwhile, Sacyr, the construction consortium that built Corvera in exchange for operating rights for the first 40 years, has asked AENA to publish a timetable for closing San Javier. AENA has invested 100 million euros in San Javier over the last five years, an investment which will now be binned in favour of Corvera.

San Javier, by the way, has seen passenger numbers drop by 17% during 2010, to just 1,3 million passengers, and expects to close 2011 with a further drop. Much of the drop has been attributed to national passengers, as people from Murcia city prefer to fly out of Alicante which is about the same distance away as San Javier but has more connections.

In case you’re still wondering about that 100 million euro figure I just dropped in, well, that’s why Spain’s bankrupt. Madrid concentrates on expanding the already working airport, whilst the region concentrates on building a nice new airport, and nobody bothers to talk to one another.

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