Malaga Airport is likely to be as busy as it was pre-pandemic this summer. / sur

Airlines offer more seats to the Costa del Sol this peak holiday season than they did in summer 2019

The 50 companies that fly to Malaga Airport are offering 16.2 million seats and more routes than before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic

Pilar Martínez
PILAR MARTÍNEZ

Peak season began for the airlines at the weekend, and between now and 29 October the 50 companies that fly to Malaga Airport are offering more seats than they did at this time of year before the pandemic. There are also new routes and more flights, according to figures from the airport operator Aena, which is excellent news for the tourism sector.

Although schedules and flights are always subject to change, especially with the uncertainty around Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the rise in fuel prices, the airlines are currently offering 16.2 million seats to Malaga from different destinations and this is 3.6% more than 2019. Aena also says that 92,200 flights will be landing or taking off this summer, which is an increase of almost two per cent.

There are now direct flights to 142 destinations from Malaga, via 255 routes, and this is 24 more than in 2019. The airlines say there are signs that people are very keen to start travelling again, and some professionals in the tourism sector believe the war in Ukraine may lead some travellers to change their plans to visit countries which are competition for Spain such as Turkey or Egypt, or explore emerging destinations which are closer to the conflict such as Croatia, Poland or Estonia, and come to the Costa del Sol instead because it is considered safe.

Ryanair

The airline which bring most visitors is Ryanair, which connects the Costa del Sol with 79 destinations and offers 1.9 million seats, which is about 14 per cent more than in 2019. Elena Cabrera, Ryanair’s Country Manager in Spain and Portugal, says the company has added new flights this summer to Aarhus in Denmark; Kaunas in Lithuania; Riga in Latvia; Paris; Stockholm; Zagreb, Agadir and Lanzarote.

The Spanish low-cost airline Vueling, which brings the second-highest number of passengers to Malaga, flies to 24 destinations of which 13 are abroad. These are London Gatwick, Paris, Nantes, Marseilles, Lyon, Copenhagen, Billund, Rome, Zurich, Amsterdam, Brussels, Marrakesh and Cardiff.

Easyjet is offering two million seats to Malaga this summer, a figure which is similar to 2019. The CEO for the airline in southern Europe, Javier Gándara, says it has added new routes in Copenhagen, Southend and Edinburgh to its destinations this season.