Although I didn't fly to Gibraltar I decided to write a tip about it, because everybody who visits Gibraltar will definitely come across the airport.
Gibraltar's airport has probably one of the most unusual locations.
Its runway was built completely across the peninsula. This means that all pedestrians and vehicles to the town have to cross the runway. The road is closed whenever there is a plane landing or departing.
Another interesting fact about the airport is that with only 500 m it is the closest international airport to the city that it serves. Up to now Gibraltar is only served by flights from the United Kingdom.
Thanks to the British Royal Air Force visitors can fly directly to Gibraltar, a runway has been extended on an artificial island out into the sea, near the border between Gibraltar and Spain.
However it is a small airport and flights are limited. British Airways operates flights daily from London Heathrow and Gatwick, and Monarch offer daily flights from Luton and Manchester.
If you're arriving from outside of Britain then your next choice is Malaga airport. This is the Costa del Sol's airport, located about 1.5hours drive north from Gibraltar. A new toll road between La Linea and Malaga shortens the journey somewhat, but the scenery is less attractive. A bus service operates from Malaga to La Linea (the Spanish city just over the border).
The only road out of Gibraltar crosses this Runway, and when flights approach barriers drop until the planes have landed. The airport, whilst small, has a shop and information centre. Taxis are normally to be found outside the airport.
We flew with Monarch Scheduled from Manchester. Monarch fly 3 times a week from Manchester, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
You can get some cheap deals depending what dates you want.They no longer provide the inclusive meal though and the drinks. Competition with these airlines is so stiff that you are now having to pay £4.00 for the meal. Although it is usually a nice meal. Drinks are extra.
The flight is about 2hr 40 mins from Manchester.
Telephone No. of Monarch in Gibraltar is 350 47477
Headphones given out free for inflight entertainment.
Monarch also fly there everyday from Luton, and British Airways also fly there each day from Gatwick.
Unfortunately Monarch are ending their flights to Gibraltar from July 2006 from Manchester airport. Something to do with landing costs. It maybe that some other airline may pick up this route. We will have to see.
Getting from the airport to Gibraltar, you can either get the bus, taxi (see my other tips) or walk. This involves walking across the airstrip and to the hotel where we stayed its approximately 20 minutes walk.
I haven't flown in to Gibraltar, but the experience must be amazing, especially if you get a window seat. The planes I saw landing, came in such that the best views would have been if you sat on the right hand side of the plane. So try and get a window seat there (Note however that wind direction can cause landing patterns to change, so this may not always hold true!)
Because Gibraltar is so small, the airport is close to everywhere, so there will be no need to have an expensive transfer. It is not worth renting a car if you only intend to stay in Gibraltar, as you could probably just get by with cheap taxis and the cable car!
There is no direct train service to Gibraltar itself. In Spain you can take the train to Algeciras, from there you cross the street at the train station, get the bus to La Linea, which will take about half an hour. At La Linea, which is the last town on the Spanish side, you just walk across the border and there you are.
Gibraltar has its own international airport but limited air traffic. At present you can only get to Gibraltar directly from London Luton and Manchester airports.
The biggest carriers into Gibraltar are Easyjet, British Airways and Monarch airlines.
There are presently no air connections with Spain, a line between Madrid and Gibraltar was cancelled due to lack of demand. The nearest airports in Spain are Malaga and Jerez. You will have to combine train/land transport in order to get all the way to Gibraltar from these airports.
British Airways operates two flights daily from London Gatwick airport. Taxis from Gibraltar airport to the city center cost about £3, and bus is £0.60.
Gibraltar airport is built on made up land across the causway from Spain. Whenever a flight is due access from Spain is halted as Cars and Pedestrians are stopped.
Flying to Gibraltar is expensive as the airport is a military airport under the control of the RAF, and the landing fees for commercial flights is high. But do compare with Malaga and Jerez and sometimes you get good offers to Gibraltar. The landing strip is short but is sufficient for an aircraft to stop before you go swimming. At the moment the only airlines who fly to Gibraltar on a daily basis are Monarch (Luton and Manchester) and British Airways (Gatwick), EasyJet (Gatwick) and a new airline called Andalus Airlines which will fly to Madrid twice daily, they will shortly be also starting flights to Bilbao and Barcelona have a look at www.andalus.es.
We flew from London with GB Airways, a subsidiary of British Airways, for 62 pounds single. This was my first time on a BA flight and it was pretty impressive, a definite step up from Ryanair or Easyjet, what with the electronic check-in, free newspapers, drinks and food. I'd recommend getting a window seat, as when landing in Gibraltar the views of the Rock are excellent.
There are no low-cost airlines currently operating to Gibraltar. If you are planning a week in the area then Malaga or even Faro in Portugal are useful airports with plenty of cheap flights.
Alternatively Monarch airlines operate a scheduled servive from London Luton which can go down to low-cost operators prices at about £39 one-way.
In addition look out for world offers from BA as their GB airways partner flies here.
In the international contest to build an airport in a silly place, Gibraltar comes quite high.
I believe it is often used on training simulators as it is a testing approach.
It also shares the rather unusual feature of have in a road straight across the main runway. Thankfully unlike some other places it is only vehicles, rather than herded cattle that make their way across.
At The moment Monarch Airlines does a good flight deal of only £39.00 to get to Gibraltar from the Uk.
We did not fly to Gibraltar we drove, but I did have a photo of the run way (~_~)
The runway also doubles as the mainroad and pedestrian access in to Gibraltar. Quite Bizarre really, but it seems to work well.
If you are flying from a British airport (which are currently the only airports you can fly to Gib from), the easiest thing to do, is to fly in directly.If you are not staying in Gibraltar but nearby, again flying into Gib airport is best.If you are staying in Spain further up the coast,it is easy to drive down to Gibraltar or get the local bus service down to Gibraltar's neighbouring town of La Linea.It is simple and fairly cheap.Another way is to simply hire a car! Again, getting from anywhere up the coast to Gibraltar is very simple as a new motorway has been built and it is very quick to get anywhere.
Gibraltar is fairly hilly, so your best bet is to get taxis if you want to go up the top of the Rock or of course the cable car. Otherwise, making your way around the city centre can easily be achieved on foot. Everything is all in one street, the Main Street, so you wont get lost wandering around!
I arrived by plane from Casablanca with British Airways. There are only flights to London and to Casablanca, since the Spanish authorities restrict the usage of the airport. They claim that it was illegally built in the isthmus that links Gibraltar to the mainland, but this area was not attributed to the British by the Treaty of Utrecht!! Anyway, the airport is really small. The funniest thing is that cars and even pedestrians that enter Gibraltar must go over the airport. When a plane is about to take off or land, the traffic light turns red and they simply wait !
I do not know how is the situation right now, but at times the Spanish authorities have been very careful in controlling any car trying to pass the border. That resulted in long lines of cars waiting to cross to the other side (you must keep in mind that many people in the Spanish side go to work or to shop in Gibraltar every day). For this reason, if you wanted to go from Spain, it was more advisable to park the car and cross on foot. You had to walk for a little while (over the airport, of course) and there you were in the middle of Main Street enjoying your Beer.
Gibraltar is so small that walking is the only choice. To climb up to the rock you can take the funicular.
You can fly direct to Gibratlar from London Gatwick or Heathrow with British Airways, or from Luton on Monarch Airlines. Otherwise the nearest Spanish airports are Jerez (1.5 hours) and Malaga (1 hr).
There's a better choice of cheap flights to Malaga and it's an easier drive from there to Gib.
If you're driving from Spain, leave your car on the Spanish side of the border - the nearest car park is called Fo Cona, and is 5 mins walk from the frontier (or border). Once across the border there is a taxi rank on your right hand side. There is only one taxi company in Gib, but the fares are low. Otherwise there is a good bus service to most parts of the rock.