MIAMI — Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, became the first airline to land at the new Región de Murcia International Airport, which was officially opened by his Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain on January 15.
The recently completed airport will replace San Javier as the primary passenger airport to the Region of Murcia. The inaugural flight departed from East Midlands Airport, landing at 10:01 am.
Ryanair first to arrive
Ryanair’s new daily service from East Midlands Airport marked the beginning of air services at Murcia International Airport. This is only one of Ryanair’s nine Summer 2019 routes from Birmingham, Bournemouth, Dublin, Glasgow, Leeds, Bradford, London-Luton, London-Stansted, and Manchester.
The airline predicts that these flights to Murcia will deliver 660,000 customers per annum.
Commenting after touching down in Murcia onboard the inaugural flight,
Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer, David O’Brien, said that “Ryanair is pleased to celebrate the arrival of our first flight at Región de Murcia International Airport.”
“Ryanair was the first airline to touch down in Spain’s newest airport, our 27th Spanish destination, where we will carry over 660,000 customers in the next 12 months,” O’Brien said.
A new airport, A new start
The construction of Región de Murcia International airport began in July 2008, looking to replace the military airfield that is based at Murcia San Javier.
The initial expectation was for the airport to become operational by 2013. Delays in construction, along with various political issues surrounding the opening of the airport, have seen the transfer of services continuously being pushed back.
In November 2017, the Spanish government awarded airport operator, AENA, the contract for running the new airport.
The following year, in April 2018, it was announced that the first flights from the new airport would begin in January 2019 with all passenger movements transferring from Murcia San Javier on the 14th of January and the first flights would follow the next days.
Commenting on the opening of the new airport, President of Aena, Mauricio Lucena, said, “The start-up of Región de Murcia International Airport improves and strengthens the Aena network, which aims to always offer the best infrastructure to
More airlines coming soon
Even though Ryanair has taken the mantle as the first airline to operate flights from the new Murcia International Airport, others are soon to follow suit.
Norwegian will begin flights to the new airport from Oslo-Gardermoen in April. And then from Bergen, Stavanger
Easyjet was the second airline to begin operating to the airport with its first flight arriving from Bristol and London-Southend on the first day of operations. Its third service will begin on January 18th when flights begin from London-Gatwick.
Jet2 will begin flights to Murcia Corvera Airport from Leeds Bradford on the 29th of March and Manchester on the 1st of April.
Flybe will begin flights to Murcia using it’s Embraer E195s from Southampton on the 29th June.
The first domestic services from the airport will be operated by Spanish low-cost carrier, Volotea, when it starts flights from Asturias in the north of Spain on the 30th May and will operate this flight twice weekly.
TUI Fly Belgium begins its operations to the new Murcia Airport with flights from Antwerp, using Embraer E190s beginning on Wednesday 16th January, and flights from Charleroi starting on the 18th.
Finally, Smartwings will start its summer seasonal flights from Prague Ruzyne Airport with the first flight arriving on the 14th of May.
A future Spanish gateway?
With nearby airports such as Alicante and Malaga situated further down the coast, Murcia could be poised perfectly to host an ever increasing number of tourists holidaying in the south coast of Spain.
With capacity at times being stretched during the summer season at other popular holiday destinations, Murcia International Airport may well prove to be an attractive place to operate from in the near future.
With major players Ryanair and Easyjet already set to operate a busy schedule from the airport throughout 2019, the future does indeed look very promising.