Nils Kraus - Feb 25, 2024
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Spain welcomed a remarkable increase in international passengers at the beginning of 2024. According to data published by Turespaña, Spain received 5.9 million international air passengers in January, 12.7% more than in 2023.

Of these almost 6 million passengers, 57.3% came from the European Union, showing an increase of 13.1%. The rest of the world contributed to the remaining 42.7%, which grew by 12.3%.

In January, most Spanish airports saw a solid upward trend in international arrivals from almost all the main issuing countries except Portugal. The markets of Poland (77%), Ireland (19.2%), Italy (18.2%), and the United States (17.5%) particularly showed significant growth. The diversification of markets in the rest of the world also increased by 13.7% compared to a year ago, reaching a weight of close to 30%.

The United Kingdom Leads the Way

Of the 6 million international passengers, 1.1 million passengers were from the United Kingdom, accounting for 17.9% of the total arrivals. The number of UK passengers who visited Spain increased by 11.1 percent compared to last year. The Canary Islands received the most significant number of British visitors. 42.7% of UK passengers traveled to this destination. Low-cost airlines were also very popular among UK travelers, with 81.6% choosing this option. The UK was also the leader in arrivals on low-cost airlines, accounting for 25.2% of the total.

Germany contributed 11.6% to the total number of arrivals, with 687,829 passengers. This represents an increase of 11% compared to January 2023. The Canary Islands were the most well-liked destination for German travelers, with 40.5% heading there. Almost half of German passengers (49.8%) chose traditional airlines, with Germany being the market that led to the arrival of this type of transport (13.7% of the total).

Number of Italians Increased

Italy accounted for 10.7% of the total passengers, with 632,563 travelers. This represents a growth of 18.2% compared to the previous year. Catalonia and the Community of Madrid benefited the most from this increase. The Basque Country and the Valencian Community also recorded outstanding year-on-year growth of over 30%. Most Italian travelers (78.9%) opted for low-cost airlines, experiencing an increase of 21.4% compared to the previous year.

France represented 7.3% of total arrivals in January. This figure showed an increase of 1.6% compared to the previous year. Madrid and Catalonia were the most popular destinations for French travelers, with over 100,000 arrivals in each region. Together, they accounted for 62.5% of total arrivals. Low-cost airlines were also top-rated among French travelers, with 63.1% choosing this option.

Finally, the Netherlands represented 4.8% of total arrivals. This market experienced growth of 11.7% in January, with Catalonia and Valencia as the main destinations, together accounting for 42% of arrivals. Low-cost airlines were also the preferred option for most Dutch travelers.

Six Communities Dominate Arrivals

In the first month of the year, six main communities in Spain experienced an increase in arrivals, accounting for 97.8% of the total arrivals. Andalusia and Valencia registered the most significant year-on-year increases at 21.3% and 18.5%, respectively.

Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport was the busiest airport in Spain last January, with 1.7 million arrivals of international passengers, followed by Barcelona with 1.2 million, and Tenerife Sur with 540,000.

Malaga airport recorded the highest year-on-year increase of 22.6%, followed by Alicante with a 21.2% increase.

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