Seve Ballesteros – Santander Airport (SDR/LEXJ)

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Ryanair shows Santander's potential: The airline now serves 12 destinations (Aug 17). Air Nostrum, Vueling, Iberia, Volotea and Wizz Air are the other major scheduled operators at the airport, leaving plenty of space for new entrants on underserved and unserved routes – demand is encouraged by superb convention facilities including the Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones.

The city, conveniently located for both Biscay Bay and the Picos de Europa National Park, has become a major European centre for outdoor activities.

Other major reasons to serve this airport

  • Santander is a beautiful city located between the sea and the mountains: it boasts major monuments (XIIIth century cathedral), beaches, gastronomic tourism and natural attractions, thanks to the Picos de Europa National Park.
  • The region is part of the northern route to the Pilgrim’s Route to Santiago de Compostela (The Way of St James).
  • The Port of Santander combines a tourist function (with passenger ferries to the UK) and an industrial function.
  • Santander is close to the Altamira Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to prehistoric cave paintings.

Santander is largely associated with the banking sector thanks to the Santander Group, owner of Europe’s largest bank and a major sponsor of Formula 1 races around the globe. Santander Fashion Week also turns the heads…

Aena offers airlines an extensive range of incentives.

Marketing and other support

Aena offers airlines an extensive range of incentives. See the new incentive that Aena offers airlines in 2017 and discover which one suits your type of operation best:
  • For new routes;
  • For increasing number of passengers on a route: on long-haul routes, on airports with less than three million passengers and seasonal airports during the off-peak season;
  • Seasonality;
  • Off-peak days;
  • Connecting flights;
  • Freight: is exempted of cargo charge from the 5 July 2014;
  • The Spanish Government has approved a 11% reduction in all airport charges in the period 2017-2021 (2.2% annually). It is effective as of 1 March 2017.

The conditions of the Aena Incentive scheme are according to the wording included in the legislation in force. For more information please visit:


Aena collaborates on an ongoing basis with airlines on aspects such as organising events relating to first flights, advertising in media belonging to Aena, press releases, publicity on social networks, information to travel agencies associations etc. All of this is geared towards achieving greater visibility and publicity for the launch of new routes or new bases.

For more information please visit:

Potential cooperation from the Spanish Tourism Board (Tourspain):

Market information: statistics and market analysis on request at

The map shows the population within a two-hour drive from Santander Airport (the red square) and the nearest airports in the area (Bilbao, San Sebastian, Vitoria, Burgos, Leon and Asturias airports). The region served by Santander Airport extends close to a 500,000 population within 30 minutes. The city's large service sector – including Grupo Santander – is augmented by a large student population and local government efforts to host festivals and conventions. El Sardinero beach provides a perfect setting for time out.

Catchment Area

  • 30-minute catchment: 497,925.
  • 60-minute catchment: 1,425,325.
  • 120-minute catchment: 3,587,650.

Grupo Santander's global headquarters – the financial services sector is Cantabria's biggest employer, although the countryside and regional traditions are largely untouched, making it a distinct alternative to other Spanish resorts.

Under-served freight opportunities and other economic impact factors

Santander Airport’s modern facilities currently handle just under one million passengers, roughly 55% domestic – Ryanair has proven there is a consumer demand for new routes to other European centres.


  • Santander Airport is situated to the east of the city, five kilometres from the city centre.

Road access

  • The airport has direct access to the A-8 Santander-Bilbao.

Bus access

  • Airport-Bus Station line.
  • Alsa links Santander Airport to different locations in the north of Spain: Bilbao, Gijon, Oviedo, Laredo, etc.

Infrastructure & Operations

Santander runway

For more regional information please go to:

Vital statistics

2016 figures

  • Passengers (commercial): 424,137 domestic passengers; 352,834 international passengers.
  • Air transport movements: 100% scheduled flights.
  • Largest carriers: Ryanair, Air Nostrum, Vueling, Iberia and Volotea.