Belgian flag carrier Brussels Airlines is to launch flights between Brussels and Alicante, the main entry point for visitors to the Costa Blanca and popular leisure resorts of Benidorm, Calpe, Denia and Torrevieja. This region of Spain is a popular holiday destination throughout the year and Belgians, after the British and Dutch, are the third largest group of foreign visitors, with many citizens owning second properties along the Costa Blanca coast.
Brussels Airlines will introduce a twice weekly link on the route from October 26, 2013 using an Airbus A319s. This will be its fifth destination in Spain and will complement its existing daily flights to Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga and Bilbao.
“With the launch of Alicante we can now offer Brussels Airlines passengers a comfortable travel option to the two most important holiday regions on the Spanish mainland: The Costa Blanca via Alicante and the Costa Del Sol/Andalusia via Malaga”, said Lars Redeligx, Chief Commercial Officer, Brussels Airlines. “With Alicante, a top destination in the Belgian travel market, we extend our flight offer to sun destinations even more.
Alongside its business offering, Brussels Airlines has been expanding its activities in the leisure market in Europe. It now provides direct links from its Brussels National Airport hub to among others, Palermo, Catania, Lamezia Terme, Venice, Naples and Florence in Italy; Lisbon, Portugal; Malaga, Barcelona, Spain; Tel Aviv, Israel; Marrakech, Agadir, Morocco and Nice and Marseille in France.
The number of passengers travelling between Belgium and Alicante has risen in recent years and Brussels Airlines hopes its network status will allow it generate transfer traffic to support the point-to-point demand. According to MIDT data an estimated 254,000 bi-directional O&D passengers flew to or from Alicante from destinations across Belgium in 2012, up 11.6 per cent on the previous year.
This market is currently dominated (53.7 per cent) by jetairfly, part of the TUI Group of airlines, which provides links to the Spanish destination from Brussels, Brussels Charleroi, Liege and Ostend. Ryanair also holds a sizeable chunk of the market (43.8 per cent) with its own flights between Brussels Charleroi and Alicante. This year Spanish budget carrier, Vueling, has also entered this market with direct flights between Brussels and Alicante launching in April 2013.