Latest advice on Alicante flights and departures as disruption after fire continues – and if the airport is still closed

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Around 2,000 people - both passengers and staff - were evacuated from Alicante airport yesterday afternoon (15 January), after a blaze broke out on the roof.

Here's everything you need to know about the situation:

(Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

(Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

What happened?

Airport operator AENA tweeted: "For security reasons the airport terminal is being evacuated away from Alicante-Elche due to a fire on the deck."

AENA then confirmed that flights would be diverted to Valencia and Murcia airports, before announcing mass cancellations a few hours later.

The operator later said firefighters had been tackling the fire and had the flames under control and the airport was being ventilated.

The cause of the blaze has not yet been made public, though Spanish officials have confirmed no-one was injured.

What's the official travel advice?

If you travel itinerary contains travel to or from Alicante, the best course of action is to "consult your airline" to see if plans have been changed.

"Consult your airline to find out if they have cancelled your flight or are operating it from an alternative airport," said the airport authority, “we are coordinating the operation with airlines."

“Cancellations are taking place. We are working to try to bring the situation back to normal as soon as possible.”

The airport is the fifth-busiest in Spain, with 15 million passengers passing through last year.

When will the airport be open again?

The airport is expected to be reopened around midday today (16 January).

A spokesperson said: “Alicante-Elche airport will not be operative until midday on January 16. Please do not go to the airport and contact your airline.”

The fire at Alicante isn't the first travel disruption to hit the region over the past 12 months.

Heavy rains and flooding hit the area in September 2019, leaving three people dead after their cars got trapped in the water.

What are my rights if my flight is cancelled?

If your flight is cancelled you usually have a legal right to either a full refund within seven days or a replacement flight.

However, if the flight was cancelled due due to reasons beyond the airlines control, such as an act of terrorism, a volcanic eruption, a strike or extreme weather, the airline is not obliged to compensate you.

Which? says some some airlines stretch the definition of the extraordinary circumstances that won't permit them to fly. If, for example, are told the flight is due to weather conditions, but other airlines are departing, you may be able to challenge the airline.

If your flight is cancelled, you may be able to claim for food and drink at the airport on your travel insurance.

Airlines should give passengers food, drinks and two phone calls for delays of more than two hours. If the delay is overnight, hotel accommodation and transfers should be provided.