Spanish airports have something that some of their European counterparts don't — a heavy tilt toward leisure travel, which is advantageous under the current circumstances.
Passenger traffic at Aena’s Spanish airports surpassed pre-pandemic levels during the first quarter even as many of Europe’s terminals continue to operate at a lower capacity.
About 53.6 million passengers transited through Spanish airports in first three months of the year, 1.6% more than in the same period of 2019, Aena said on Thursday, and 42% higher than in the first quarter of 2022.
In the first months of the year, Spanish airports, which depend more on leisure travel, outperformed those in Germany, Britain and France, which rely more on business travellers.
Frankfurt Airport operator Fraport said in March it expects 2023 passenger traffic to be between 80% and 90% of 2019’s level, while London Heathrow’s estimate is 90%.
World airport traffic stood at 84.9% of the pre-pandemic level in February.
(Reporting by Matteo Allievi, editing by Inti Landauro, Kirsten Donovan)
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Photo credit: A file photo of a Spanish Iberia Airlines aircraft at Pablo Ruiz Picasso Airport in Malaga, southern Spain. Source: Reuters/Jon Nazca Jon Nazca / Reuters