Malaga is now a Ryanair base, and you can tell. I’ve been coming here for 25 years, and for many of them the most you would see of Ryanair was a solitary Boeing 737-200 from Dublin once a day. Nowadays, there always seems to be a 737-800 from the airline at the gates – never more so than during the morning and evening rush hours.
Malaga Airport itself has come on a great deal. Its new terminal is airy and large. I made sure we checked in with plenty of time (persuading the Ryanair agent to check us in three hours ahead of the flight, which is usually not allowed), in order to avoid the usual rush. This gave me time to look around the terminal, which seamlessly joins the early 1990s-era Pablo Picasso Terminal (which itself joins the original international terminal from the 1970s).
The only giveaway is the sandy colour of the old terminal’s walls and floors, whereas the new one is silver.
The new terminal has plenty of places to view the aircraft parked at its stands, and there are places to see aircraft on the remote ramps, military ramp, and parked at the old terminal’s gates.
However, to see anything parked outside the original terminal and on the GA/executive ramp, you’ll need to be in the B gates, which means passing through Passport Control.
Malaga has a new, second, runway which has recently been completed. It is located slightly askew to the existing runway, so not quite parallel. On my visit it looked like it wasn’t far off
opening, with all taxiways, signs and lighting in place (and most importantly, no workmen in sight). You will be able to see aircraft on this runway quite easily from the new terminal, and also from the car parks.
Our flight boarded from B11 at 2150 – the time we were meant to depart. Ryanair seem to operate a bus service, where departing passengers are already waiting to board as the previous passengers deplane. Gone are the days of a 1 hour turnaround!
The flight this evening was on EI-DWY. We departed around 20 minutes late, but the flight was a quick 2 hours 30 minutes, passing over central Spain, western France, the England/Wales border, Manchester, and then across to Leeds Bradford.
We landed with a thump just before midnight. The runway at Leeds always seems a little short – so much so that I was pushing against the seat in front as we slowed down just to steady myself.
All in all a good flight and journey, but I can’t finish without mentioning my gripes about Ryanair forcing you to pay to check in online, and then still making you wait in a line to drop your bag off and ‘check in’ that takes just as long as a regular flight that you haven’t checked in online for!