4th December 2021
Library image of Madrid airport.
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Spain recovers over half of pre-Covid international airport arrivals in September

Latest: Coronavirus in Spain figures (28 Oct)

Spain received five million passengers from international airports in September, which is more than half of the arrivals in September 2019 (9.7 million) and an increase of 437% compared to the same month in 2020, according to data from the Spanish Tourist Board, Turespaña.

In the year to date, the volume of arrivals has reached 20.7 million passengers, 12.7% more than in 2020.

Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, said the data ‘reflects that we are heading in the right direction and that the recovery of the Spanish tourism sector is solid, consolidating month by month with the official data that we are getting’.

Maroto said that the increase in arrivals from the main source countries shows that ‘Spain is perceived as a safe and quality destination where a few days’ rest can be enjoyed. And this has been possible thanks to the good pace achieved in the vaccination process, which has made it possible to convey certainty to international travellers, together with the use of the EU digital Covid certificate, which has facilitated travel within the EU, together with the efforts of our tourism sector’. 

Of the total number of international passengers who travelled to Spain in September, the majority (59.8%) travelled on a low-cost airline, while the remaining 40.2% opted for traditional airlines.

Library image of Madrid airport.
Library image of Madrid airport. (Aena.es)

The increase in international passengers has been recorded from all the main source countries, with Germany (18.5% and 934,338 people) as the leading market, registering an increase of 688% year-on-year, with arrivals mainly to the Balearic and Canary Islands.

Passenger arrivals from UK airports (17.3%) remain in second position with an increase of 387% compared to the same month in 2020, reaching 877,108 people.

The third source country of international passengers was Italy, with 428,661 passengers whose main destinations were Catalonia and Madrid. Followed by France (394,856) and the Netherlands (379,636) which is the country showing the highest degree of recovery (85%) compared to pre-pandemic data, September 2019.

The Balearic Islands was the main destination in September (23.2% and 1,176,055 passengers), accumulating 24.7% of international passenger arrivals so far this year, which now exceed five million passengers.

It was followed by Madrid (19% and 959,706 passengers), Catalonia (18% and 908,572), Andalusia (13.6% and 689,937), the Canary Islands (12.1% and 613,951) and Valencia (11.8% and 597,870).

By airports, Madrid Barajas received the highest volume of international passengers (19% of the total), followed by Palma de Mallorca (17.1%), Barcelona-El Prat (16.9%), Málaga (11.3%), Alicante (8%), Ibiza (4.9%), Tenerife Sur (4.7%), Valencia (3.8%), Gran Canaria (3%) and Fuerteventura (2.2%).

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