Alicante – a perfect fit


 The opening of the Alicante route on Spain’s Costa Blanca offers sunshine for Finnair leisure passengers – and plenty of footwear for Finnair Cargo.


The quaint streets and nightlife of Alicante’s old town, Barrio de la Santa Cruz, its excellent golf courses and heavenly climate are established attractions for Finns and other northern Europeans. The city’s industrial assets, including significant footwear manufacturing, are perhaps less well known.

Capitol Airline Services work with Finnair Cargo as General Sales Agents in Spain, through existing and well-established Madrid and Barcelona routings, and talk highly of the partnership.

Excellent value

“One of the most accepted and valued airlines by freight forwarders in the region is Finnair Cargo,” says Capitol’s Operations Manager Miguel Martinez de Leyva. “They offer an excellent value proposition in terms of cost and service, and this has guaranteed a continuing stream of new clients over the last five years.” 

Martinez de Leyva should know: he has been working in the airfreight industry since 1977, in Madrid, Barcelona and Zargoza, and in the US before moving back to Spain and Capitol in 2006. Martinez de Leyva’s colleague, Sales Manager Borja Ramon Garces, based in Madrid and working with Capitol since 2005, has also been busy in anticipation of the Finnair launch. 

“Ever since Finnair announced cargo capacity on the direct route from Alicante, we have been receiving inquiries about rates, timetables and operations,” Martinez de Leyva says. “Sales and operations for Alicante are controlled from Madrid, but of course we have developed contacts locally through personal meetings on sales visits several times a year.”

Sole survivors

For most people, Alicante is synonymous with holidays in a great climate, but it’s also the home of some significant and thriving commercial enterprise. The shoe manufacturing industry has a particularly firm foot in Alicante’s business door. Astonishingly, Elche, Alicante’s immediate neighbor, is home to more than 1,000 shoe factories of various sizes, while some 15,000 footwear items are displayed toe-to-toe at the shoe museum in nearby Elda. 

The industry has its roots in 19th century handicrafts traditions, when jute and hemp were used to weave shoes similar to modern espadrilles. “Now the local economy is growing again, and many footwear manufacturers have moved back from China, and opened factories in the Alicante region,” says Martinez de Leyva. 

 Footwear exporters, he confirms, are likely to be important clients, but there are other significant export industries in the region. These include marble supplies, fabrics, textiles and other leather goods, toys, food and furniture.  

New destinations

Finnair’s summer route to Alicante operates through the summer timetable period until October 27, with up to four weekly flights to this popular Mediterranean holiday city. Flights to Malaga will increase frequency at the same time, boosting the number of flights to 11 a week in June and July. 

Text by Tim Bird
Photo by iStock

Published March 23, 2017

Category: Local features, Finnair Cargo