A year to remember: 2016 was a record year for Malaga airport, with an extra two million passengers compared with 2015, bringing the total to 16.6 million. Figures issued this week by the Aena airports authority showed a growth of 15.7 per cent, almost three times the increase registered in the previous year.
International travellers played a key part in these record figures. In fact, 14.3 million passengers were on international fights, which was an increase of 16.4 per cent. The Spanish market also performed well, despite competition from the AVE high-speed train service, with an increase of 11.7 per cent and a total of just over 2.2 million passengers.
With regard to markets, the UK continues to be the basic pillar for tourism in Malaga province. Nearly 5.5 million people travelled on flights from British airports. Germany, with 1.4 million travellers and France, with 1.06 million, were once again the second and third most important source markets in absolute terms, followed by Holland (882,266), Ireland (723,629) and Belgium (710,319).
However, there was also a large increase in passengers from Hungary (up 96.1%), Portugal (47.5%), the USA (45%) Poland (37.3%) and Luxembourg (35.4%), and a significant increase from Denmark (34.4%), Israel (30.6%), and Canada (22.6%).
2016 was also noteworthy because of an increase in the number of days that both runways were in use. There were 123,700 flights last year, an increase of 13.6 per cent.
In December there were nearly a million travellers, 21 per cent more than in the same month in 2015. Aena says that 908,665 of passengers travelled on commercial flights and there was an increase of 23.8% travelling abroad (744,193) and 8.6 per cent on flights within Spain (164,472). Last month there were 7,647 flights from Malaga airport.The busiest day in December was during the Christmas period, and 22 January 2016 was the day with most flights: 319, to be exact, and the following day was the busiest in terms of passengers, with 37,478.