Spain is seeing its flight traffic increase, but an uptick in virus cases recently may bring new fears of a second wave.
The average number of daily flights across Spain rose to over 2,000 in the first week of July, doubling from the previous week but still only about a third of year-ago levels as the COVID-19 pandemic kept travel constrained, airport operator Aena said.
Early July figures were much higher than the just 300 daily flights in the first week of May, when Spain started phasing out its coronavirus lockdown. Back in July 2019, there were 5,500-6,000 daily flights on average.
The state-owned operator also said on Monday that last month, more than a million passengers passed through its network, a near 300% increase on the 267,671 travellers recorded in May, while the number of total flights rose almost 150% to 43,640.
The increase in air traffic coincides with the end of Spain’s three-month state of emergency on June 21, and the gradual resumption of travel within Europe as countries hard-hit at the pandemic’s start appeared to control its spread.
Now, however, Spain is grappling with around 100 new coronavirus outbreaks dotted across its territory, prompting fears of a second wave as several regional authorities mandate mask-wearing everywhere, all the time, in a bid to stem the virus.
(Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette; editing by Andrei Khalip)
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Photo credit: An Iberia aircraft at Madrid's Barajas airport. Iberia Airlines