15th April 2024
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Spanish airports saw record 283 million passengers in 2023

Passenger traffic at Spanish airports hit a record high in 2023 as tourism rebounded strongly after several years of disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A total of 283.2 million people travelled through the country’s airports last year, a 16.2% increase over 2022, state-run airport operator Aena said in a statement.

The figure was 2.9% higher than in 2019, the last full year before the pandemic grounded flights, with December traffic up 11% from the same month four years earlier.

The president and CEO of Aena, Maurici Lucena, said: ‘These record figures in air transport are fundamental for the economic and social development of Spain. We should all congratulate ourselves on them. Also the airlines that, like Aena, suffered the harsh consequences of the pandemic, and are now transporting more passengers than ever.’

Madrid airport was Spain’s busiest with 60 million passengers, followed by Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca in the Balearic Islands and Malaga on the southern coast.

Spain is the world’s second-most visited country after France and tourism is crucial for the domestic economy, making up nearly 12% of gross domestic product.

International travel restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic brought Spain’s vital tourism sector to its knees in 2020.

The industry began a gradual recovery in 2021, pausing briefly when the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant led to a temporary new round of travel restrictions.

While passenger traffic at Spain’s airports in 2022 was up from the previous year, it still remained below pre-pandemic levels.

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