Regional Gateway editor Chloë Greenbank summarises the latest happenings across airports serving business, regional and low-fare routes.

In keeping with January being named after the Roman deity, Janus – the god of doorways, new beginnings and the rising and setting of the sun – the first few weeks of the year have already seen doors closing as well as opening among the airport community.

For Murcia-San Javier Airport in Spain the beginning of 2019 has marked the end of the road. Monday 14 January saw the airport wave off its last flight. But, as the doors at San Javier closed, another set of doors opened 30 km inland at Corvera Airport with an official inauguration ceremony presided over by King Felipe VI.

While the decision to close Murcia-San Javier and move flights to Corvera has been met with some opposition, both Ryanair and airport operator, Aena, have highlighted that the move offers a chance for new opportunities as tourists are not attracted to destinations by airports, but by the regions in which the airports are located.

And while it’s the end of the road for Murcia-San Javier, plenty of airports have started 2019 with cause for celebration. In the UK, TAG Farnborough, London Luton and London Biggin Hill all celebrated their busiest year on record in 2018 with traffic at all three airports set to continue on an upward trend over the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, in Ontario, Porter Airlines is opening a maintenance base at Thunder Bay Airport in February, and Hamilton Airport has gained a new link with Cancun, courtesy of low-fare carrier, Swoop. Back in Europe, Hamburg Airport has welcomed the return of regional carrier, SUN-AIR.

Just as Janus was depicted with two faces, one looking back to the past and one peering forward to the future, the airport community is boldly stepping into 2019 and bidding a fond farewell to 2018. And it is doing so facing its fair share of challenges, but also new opportunities, fresh starts and open doorways!

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