Anyone who said “Look at all the people!” when they arrived at Malaga airport in August was absolutely right to be surprised. The airport was busier than ever before last month, at weekends and on weekdays. In fact August 2015 has broken all records in terms of numbers of passengers and flights.
Figures just released by the Spanish airports authority Aena show a considerable increase in passengers: there were a total of 1,736,881 during the 31 days of August, 3.3 per cent more than in the same month last year, which also broke all records.
The figures reflect a recovery in domestic tourism; despite the availability of high-speed AVE trains, a total of 245,915 Spanish passengers used Malaga airport last month, an increase of 1.2 per cent.
The majority of passengers, however, came from abroad, not only from major source markets for the Costa del Sol such as the UK, Germany and France, but also from expanding markets which are further away, such as the USA, and even those in crisis, like Russia.
Aena’s figures show that in absolute terms the greatest source markets were the United Kingdom, with 593,093 passengers; Germany, with 147,922 and France, with 126,532.
“The majority of travellers – 1,732,606 – used commercial flights, rather than general or executive aviation. Of these, 1,486,691 came from or were travelling to a foreign destination, which was an increase of 3.8 per cent, while 245,915 travelled within Spain and that was an increase of 1.2 per cent,” explained a source at Aena.
In terms of the overall increase in the number of travellers, it is important to note that among the most active markets were the USA, with 37 per cent more passengers than in August 2014; Austria, with 28.7 per cent more; Poland, with 27.4 per cent and the Czech Republic, with 25 per cent more passengers than one year previously.
The Russian sector was also significant, because it grew by 22 per cent even though the numbers who went to their favourite Spanish destinations, Catalonia and the Canary Islands, fell by two percentage points.
A rising trend
Looking back over a longer period, during August, the airport’s busiest month of the year, Malaga handled 205,000 more passengers this year than in the same month five years ago.
The figures are also record-breaking for this year so far. In the past eight months of unprecedented activity the airport has seen 9,883,473 passengers, which is 4.4 per cent more than in the same period of 2014. There has been growth every month, including January, which is the quietest, when nearly 10 per cent more travellers used Malaga airport.
Over the country as a whole, the airports handled a record number of passengers in August: 24 million, 4.7 per cent more than in the same month in 2014.
With regard to Andalucía, 14,263,768 passengers used its airports between January and August, 5.1 per cent more than in the same period last year.
There were 154,329 air traffic operations in the first eight months of this year in the region, 3.5 per cent more than the same period last year, according to Aena.