El Altet airport opened on 4 May 1967, replacing the older aerodrome La Rabassa that had served Alicante since 1936. It took its name after the El Altet area (a part of Elche’s countryside) where it was built. The first commercial flight that landed in the airport was Convair Metropolitan by Aviaco. Iberia established a regular connections Alicante–Madrid and Alicante–Barcelonain November 1969. In early 1970s passengers’ traffic reached 1 million, which prompted a construction of a new passenger terminal.