Spain: increasing competition boosts major airports – Canaries still awaits LCC benefits

Air travel in Spain is experiencing rapid growth at many airports thanks to infrastructure improvements, the emergence of local low-cost carriers Click Air and Vueling, and more routes from the major European LCCs like Ryanair, easyJet and Air Berlin.

Traffic at the Top 15 Spanish airports for the first seven months of 2007 and all of 2006 is shown below:

Chart: Top 15 Spanish Airports 2006/07
Source: AENA

Madrid continues to be the biggest airport in Spain followed by Barcelona and Palma. Ryanair’s new bases in Alicante and Valencia currently rank 6th and 9th. Ryanair’s Girona base now also ranks in the Top 10 in 2007.

Overall, growth at Spanish airports this year has been impressive with five of the Top 15 airports reporting double-digit improvements.

Chart: Top 15 Spanish airports growth 2007
Source: AENA

Only the Canary Island destinations of Tenerife, Gran Canaria (Las Palmas) and Lanzarote (Arrecife) are showing year-on-year traffic reductions. There are signs, however, that these destinations are also beginning to interest some LCCs, so even here traffic may soon be increasing.


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