Northern Spanish Niche

San Sebastián Airport has seen little change over six decades of operations. But, as Sebastian Schmitz discovers, its air links to both Madrid and Barcelona play an important role in the tourism industry for this region of Northern Spain.

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Two airlines operate scheduled services to San Sebastián, Iberia from Madrid (flown by Air Nostrum) and Vueling which uses Airbus A319s on the route to Barcelona. All images the author unless stated

The northern Spanish city of San Sebastián, also known by its Basque name Donostia, sits close to the border with France. In the middle of the 19th century, the city became a popular seaside resort for royalty and celebrities. Today, it is still a favourite for holidaymakers from all over the world, drawn to the region’s gourmet cuisine and cultural events held throughout the year, including the annual film festival. There is no shortage of commercial airports serving this region, but the city operates its own facility, located 14 miles (22km) from the centre, close to the picturesque town of Hondarribia.

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