Ryanair to launch services to redundant Valencia airport

Budget carrier Ryanair has released details of plans to fly to a Spanish airport that has never been used since it opened to the public four years ago. The Dublin-headquartered airline has intimated it will include flights to Castellon Costa Azahar Airport near Valencia on its timetable in the very near future.

Local media in Castellon have reported Ryanair is due to stage a press briefing at Castellon Airport later today in which it will outline its plans for flights. Sources close to the airline’s senior management say the airline will fly here from airports in the UK, Germany and Scandinavia.

One Spanish newspaper reported that flights to Castellon could be launched in time for the Easter holidays at the beginning of next month. The newspaper quoted airport officials as saying they believed the number of flights for the first 12 months of operations would be 250 and the passenger target figure was 35,000.

Castellon Airport officially opened in 2011, yet has never seen a scheduled passenger aircraft land on its tarmac. The facility cost €150 million (£106 million) to build and the driving force behind it was local politician Carlos Fabra who has since been banged up for not paying his taxes.

Castellon Airport was built despite the fact Valencia already has a busy airport and there is another in Alicante. The airport was one of several costly building projects instigated prior to the end of Spain’s property boom.

A 25-meter statue of Carlos Fabra stands outside the airport. The price of this was €300,000 (£212,000). The statue came to represent the airport and the whole project was widely seen as a white elephant and testament to profligate spending during the country’s boom years.



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