Low cost airlines in Spain carried 3.3 million passengers in the first two months of this year, representing a fall of 3.8% over the same period last year, according to data released by the Institute of Touristic Studies (ITS) under the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism of Spain.
In contrast, traditional airline companies transported 3.1 million passengers in January and Fabruary, 7.4% less than the same period in 2012.
The low-cost companies at the start of 2013 accounted for more than half of air traffic, 52.1%, compared to the traditional companies, which served 47.9% travelers.
As for markets, the UK and Germany are the leading sources for low-cost airlines’ customers with 31.6% and 19.8% of passengers respectively, despite registering a fall of 2.2% in the case of the German market (1.06 million passengers), while the British rebounded by 0.3% (668,675 passengers).
Italy, the third largest source market, decreased arrivals by 19.6%, or 352,369 travelers, equivalent to 10.4% of total entries. France followed with 6.8% of the total and 228,619 passengers, 3.5% less than a year ago.
After the French market, Holland stands with a decrease of 10.6% of arrivals, plus 179,000 passengers, 5.3% of the total. The largest percentage increase was recorded in Sweden, with 41.4% more travelers so far this year and a total of 66,921 passengers. In addition, travelers from Denmark increased 26.6% to 68,906 visitors.
In February, low cost airlines carried 1.7 million passengers, down 3.6%, while the traditional firms reached 1.5 million passengers, representing a decrease of 7.1% over the same month in 2012.
So far this year, the busiest Spanish airports for airlines were the Barcelona-El Prat with 721,915 passengers and a decline of 0.8%, the Madrid-Barajas airport with 406,632 passengers and a decrease of 18.9%, and the South of Tenerife with 397,550 passengers, 1.2% less.
Malaga followed posting a figure of 333,432 passengers, up 4.7%, and Alicante, which experienced increases of 4.8% with 318,474 passengers. The airports of Palma de Mallorca closed the first two months negatively with 231,633 passengers (a -0.7% decrease), Gran Canaria, with 278,053 passengers (-3.8%) and Lanzarote with a fall of 0.3 % to 175,135 travelers.
In February, the occupancy of flights for low cost airlines reached 84.1%, which is four percentage points higher than the previous year, and twelve points higher than in the case of traditional companies.
In addition, Ryanair, easyJet and Air Berlin were the main 'low cost' companies in the second month of 2013 while transporting 54.2% of travelers as who opted for low cost.