The sky is now the limit for the region of Murcia as its new airport has put the jets under the UK tourist numbers.
The Region de Murcia airport in Corvera, officially opened by King Felipe VI in January, is expected to bring an influx of 20-25 per cent to the number of visitors to the region thanks to an increased flight capacity.
The previous airport – based at San Javier around 30 miles away – was limited in its ambitions for tourism growth as it shared flight capacity with military flights. But as from April, the new site serves 22 commercial destinations in six countries with additional flight routes set to be added later in 2019, while Jet2 has already confirmed two new routes (each flying three times per week) from London Stansted and Birmingham for the summer of 2020.
There are now regular flights to and from London Gatwick, London Stansted, Luton, Leeds-Bradford, Glasgow Prestwick, Bournemouth, Nottingham, Bristol and Manchester with Ryanair, Easyjet and Jet2 among the airlines to have moved their operations to the new airport.
And that is expected to see a significant growth of visitors with 1.3m passengers set to use the new terminal during the course of 2019.
In its first full month of business for February 2019, more than 45,000 passengers used the new airport – an increase of 2.5 per cent from the corresponding month in 2018 recorded at San Javier. Of those passengers, more than 84 per cent were flights between the UK and Murcia.
The UK continues to be the strongest market for Murcia with more than 400,000 visitors in 2018 (around 41 per cent of the total number of tourists to the region.)
However, the number of UK visitors has seen a huge boost in the first two months of 2019 with a 30 per cent increase on 2018 figures for the same period and that upward trend is expected to continue throughout the year.
A spokesperson for the Instituto de Turismo de la Región de Murcia, said: “The new airport provides many more flight options and convenience for our guests. It will make a huge difference to the region and will make it even more attractive for UK holidaymakers. New flight routes and services are being added all the time so it is an exciting future for the region.”