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Murcia Airport, or San Javier Airport as it is locally known, is located some 17 miles / 27 km south-east of the comparatively small town of Murcia. Operated by Aena, the Spanish Airport Authority, the airport is a gateway to the Murcia region and serves a large number of budget and charter airlines. The airport is close to the northern coastline of the Mar Menor, a favourite destination for beachgoers.
Originally a rather under-used airport, Murcia’s gateway recorded more than 1.6 million passengers in 2009. With a rising trend to travel to Murcia thanks to improved infrastructure, greater choice of amenities and the promise of a Hollywood theme park opening over the next couple of years, a fact that has started to attract house hunters to the area, the need for a larger airport arose. San Javier’s operations were scaled down and in 2012 “only” 998,747 passengers passed through the airport’s gates.
While Murcia Airport may only remain open until 2012, the region is not going to be without an airport. The brand new Murcia Corvera Airport will in future be used by all commercial aircraft. Bigger and far better equipped, this new Murcia Corvera Airport will take over custom from budget airlines like Easyjet and Ryanair, Jetairfly and Norwegian Air Shuttle, Iberia and Jet2.com, which up to now have been flying into San Javier Airport. Easyjet is still hoping that at least two of its aircraft will be permitted to continue to operate out of San Javier in addition to Corvera.
Passengers arriving at Murcia’s gateway have a number of onward travel options. At least ten car rental providers offer car hire at competitive prices, among them Spanish as well as international operators. A convenient bus line links the airport with Santiago de la Ribera at 4.30 pm and 6.45 pm daily, offering onward travel to Murcia and Cartagena, Campoamor and Alicante from the transportation hub based at Santiago de la Ribera. A number of airport taxis are also available from the taxi rank.
A multi-shop called Merlia offers everything from perfume and cosmetics to toys, gifts, alcoholic drinks and sweets, while Spanish delicatessen and gifts specific to the Murcia region can be purchased from the Iberica Shop at San Javier Airport.
On the ground floor, level 0, passengers have snack bars and restaurants available for refreshments and a meal before catching their flights, all of these facilities are located in the departure zone.
An ATM and banking services are available at Banesto on Level P0, where passengers will also find an Information Stand. There are four lost luggage facilities dotted around on level P0, which belong to Iberia, Jet2.com, Ryanair and Swissport. For passengers with reduced mobility there are two meeting points, where assistance is available. San Javier is a barrier-free airport. Families will also find baby room facilities for changing their infants’ nappies.
Like all of Aena’s airports, San Javier also has its own lost property desk and a police station. The airport does not operate a tourist information office, but there are two based in Murcia, one at Plaza Julian Romea 4 and the other one at Murcia City Hall at Plaza Cardenal Belluga.
Murcia’s Costa Calida has over the last few years won in popularity and become one of Spain’s most visited holiday destinations. Corvera International Airport is located a mere 2 km distance from the town of Corvera. The distance between the two airports is just 19 km and with car rental it is also easy to reach Alicante Airport, a mere 80 km distance from Murcia Airport.
Located much further inland, the airport will have its own fast high speed train terminal that connects with the AVE rail network and will be the gateway for tourists visiting the Paramount Studio theme park set to open its doors to the public no later than spring 2015. The region also boasts Polaris World Golf resorts and much investment has gone into the Murcia region surrounding the new theme park and airport, with more hotels and amenities to follow over the next couple of years. Additional motorways have also helped to open up the region for tourism and commerce generally.
Murcia Airport will not be operated by Aena Airport Authority but by the Region of Murcia and it is envisaged that at least 3 million visitors will flock to the theme park and therefore the new airport in its first full year of operation.