Spain’s property market may still be struggling, but air travel is in full recovery mode. Traffic to airports controlled by Spanish operator Aena increased 3.9 per cent in May compared to a year earlier, the seventh consecutive month of increased traffic.
Big gainers included Alicante-Elche, which reported a record high for May, handling about 1 million passengers, says Aena, which manages 46 airports in Spain. Mallorca attracted 2.5 million passengers in May, a record high for the second consecutive month (although a scant 0.1 per cent higher than a year earlier).
On Ibiza, passenger traffic was up 10.4 per cent in May compared to the same month a year ago, thanks to a 14 per cent increase in international passengers, Aena reports. The biggest increases came from Switzerland, Netherlands and Belgium.
Overall, the number of international passengers at Aena’s airports grew by 5.7 per cent in May, compared to a year earlier, a sign that world travelers have not lost their appetite for Spain. And that is certainly good news for the property industry. The increase in international air traffic corresponds to an increase in foreigners buying homes in Spain in recent months, a key factor in any property market recovery.
The biggest gains in air traffic recorded by Aena in May were, not surprisingly, in popular tourist destinations. Traffic in the Canary Islands was up 7.7 per cent in the month compared to a year earlier, while traffic through Málaga-Costa del Sol was up 6.5 per cent and Barcelona increased 5.5 per cent.
But not all the news was positive. In Girona, traffic was down 20 per cent from a year earlier, RyanAir has been dropping flights to the city, according to coverage in La Vanguardia.