Spain airports saw record October passengers

Spain airports see record October passengers

As Spain’s tourism industry continues to clock up record annual numbers of international visitors, its airports are also benefiting from this boom.

In October, Spain’s airports welcomed 19 million passengers, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, and the largest number ever for the tenth month of the year.

It was also the 24th consecutive year-on-year increase, according to Spanish airport operator Aena.

The fact that October is not a traditional “summer holiday” month means the figure is even more significant, showing that Spain is not just a destination for tourists in search of sun, sea and sand.

The country’s biggest airport – Madrid’s Adolfo Suarez -is an increasingly popular international hub. It welcomed 4.2 million passengers in October, of which 3.1 million were people travelling on international flights.

Travel demand has flourished this year thanks to low oil prices and improving economies. But heightened security concerns in the wake of terrorist attacks in other parts of Europe and the Middle East mean that Spain’s shores have been considered a safe haven.

 

RYANAIR STILL DOMINATES SPANISH SKIES

Once again, Europe’s largest budget airline Ryanair brought in the most passengers to Spanish airports, transporting  3 million in October, almost 9 percent more than a year ago.

Next on the list was Spanish low-cost airline Vueling, with 1.79 million and flagship carrier Iberia with 1.13 million.

Ryanair currently has around 16 percent of market share in Spain, operating from 24 airports. Earlier this year, it also became the first airline to use Spain’s so-called “ghost” airport in Castellon-Costa Azahar, which has not had a single commercial flight since it opened in 2011.

Apart from 5.3 million passengers on domestic flights in October, another 3.5 million travelled between Spain and the UK, many of whom took advantage of Ryanair flights. In fact, more than one in six of all passengers at Spanish airports was on the Spain-UK route.

 

AENA SEES OVER 2 PERCENT RISE IN FULL-YEAR PASSENGER TRAFFIC

In February this year, Aena shares were listed on the Spanish stock exchange, attracting a slew of investors betting that the economic recovery would drive more air traffic to Spain, further aiding the company’s business prospects.

On December 10th, the share price closed at 106,20 euros compared with a market debut of 70 euros.

After a record October, Aena’s network of 46 airports also saw a further increase in passenger traffic in November. The accumulated rise in passengers to November 30 is 5.5 percent, compared with the 4 percent estimated by the airport operator in July.

Over 200 million passengers were expected to pass through Spain’s airports by end-2015, up from 195.9 million a year earlier.

For the winter season, airlines were planning on an 11.7 percent year-on-year rise in seating capacity, clearly betting on continued passenger traffic growth.

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