A busy winter ahead for Lleida-Alguaire airport
Quality Travel adds Val d'Aran to its ski destinations, while facility in western Catalonia will host new pilot training center
Tour operator Quality Travel has added the Pyrenean area of Val d'Aran to Andorra as one of its package tour destinations this coming winter for skiers arriving from different Swedish cities to the Lleida-Alguaire airport, in the west of Catalonia.
This is one of the new services for the winter season at the Lleida airport, along with budget flights from the British airline, Jet2, which will run Sunday flights from London, between December 16 and the beginning of April.
The airport will also host a pilot training center of the Lithuanian Baltic Aviation Academy (BBA), with 35 students from different countries and 10 instructors. BBA, part of the Avia Solutions group, will start with six light aircraft but has plans to expand to a total of 11.
Existing operators to continue
As it prepares for the winter season, the Lleida-Alguaire airport says that the facility will continue with the same operators as last year, such as Neilson, which offers ski package tours from the Manchester, Gatwick and Stansted airports in the UK.
Also, following the positive reception to the flights it ran at the start of the year, the Imserso institute, which provides subsidized holidays to senior citizens, will again offer flights to Mahon on the Balearic island of Menorca, in October and November.
Meanwhile, the Iberia franchisee, Air Nostrum, will continue to operate regular flights to the island of Mallorca, every Friday and Sunday throughout the year.
Pilots from five countries
As for the pilot training center, 35 students will spend two months in Lleida before returning home to France, Italy, Canada, Syria and Lithuania. They will be replaced by another 35. The company will start with six planes and hopes to have 11 aircraft by the end of the year.
Other firms using the airport include Cosmic Research, which tests rockets in conjunction with the UPC university, freight carrier Flightline, which will begin using Lleida-Alguaire as a base, while Vueling and Air Nostrum will continue using the airport to train its pilots.
According to the government's infrastructure secretary, Isidre Gavín, from January to September the Lleida-Alguaire airport handled some 33,000 passengers, a considerable rise on the 26,000 in the same period last year, and more than the 30,000 in the whole of 2017.