Malaga Airport is busy with international travellers again. / sur

Malaga Airport has recovered more international traffic than any other in mainland Spain

More than 1.7 million international travellers flew to the Costa del Sol between January and April, which was nearly 10 per cent of the figure for Spain as a whole

Pilar Martínez
PILAR MARTÍNEZ

Month by month, tourism on the Costa del Sol is returning to pre-pandemic levels. Malaga Airport recovered more international traffic than any other in mainland Spain in the first four months of this year, according to figures just published by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism. These show that the number of foreign passengers arriving at the airport was 82% of those before the Covid pandemic, higher than Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Alicante. Only the islands have recovered more international air traffic than Malaga.

More than 1.7 million international travellers flew to the Costa del Sol between January and April, which was nearly 10 per cent of the figure for Spain as a whole. The recovery of international tourism is evident, with figures showing that it has risen by 1,220%. In fact, sources at the Ministry say that although Catalonia was the region with the most passengers arriving on budget airlines, at 22.8%, Andalucía experienced the highest growth with an increase of 1,662.8%.

By April, Malaga Airport was only 12 percentage points below its international traffic before the pandemic, and the government says the number of tourists from all the principle markets increased last month.

UK is 16.6% below previous levels

Comparing the figures with those from before the pandemic, they say the markets showing the greatest signs of recovery are the Netherlands, which is now only 0.6% behind previous levels, and Ireland, which is 0.7% behind.

At the other extreme, however, are the USA, down 19.4%, and the UK, which is 16.6% below previous levels. However, the UK market is still extremely important for the Costa del Sol.

Internationally, the figures also show a similar picture when comparing low-cost and traditional airlines, with the national carriers recovering faster than the others.