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File image of easyJet aircraft at Malaga Airport. Karl Smallman
Malaga is Spain's fastest-growing airport for passengers arriving on low-cost airlines, which includes Ryanair, easyJet and Vueling
Air travel

Malaga is Spain's fastest-growing airport for passengers arriving on low-cost airlines, which includes Ryanair, easyJet and Vueling

The dizzying rate of growth is double that recorded by the airports of Barcelona, Gran Canaria and Valencia and triple that of Madrid and Valencia

Pilar Martínez

Malaga

Tuesday, 19 March 2024, 13:32

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Malaga is the fastest growing airport for international passengers arriving by low-cost airlines in Spain, according to the latest data.

The airport which acts as a gateway to the Costa del Sol and wider Andalucía recorded a 32% growth so far this year in arrivals of these tourists on low-cost carriers, according to a monthly report by the Spanish ministry of tourism.

The dizzying rate of growth is double that recorded by the airports of Barcelona, Gran Canaria and Valencia and triple that of Madrid and Valencia. The boom at Malaga Airport has propelled Andalucía to become the leading Spanish region for international passenger growth in low-cost airlines, with an increase of 34.2%, the figures also showed.

The Spanish government pointed out that "the six main regions accounted for 97.6% of total arrivals, all registering increases", and specified "the highest increase was recorded by Andalucía, with 30.9% year-on-year".

Madrid received the most arrivals with 1.7 million and also recorded the highest share of passengers arriving by traditional airlines (51.6%). However, in low-cost airlines, Catalonia led the share of arrivals with 25.5% and Andalucía grew the most, with 34.2%.

Low-cost airlines have become the main engine of growth at Malaga Airport, with more than 80% of passengers arriving on board these carriers. This accounts for 881,213 foreign tourists, compared to 19.6% of international passengers who landed via flag airlines, according to the data. The majority of those arrivals fly with Ryanair, followed by easyJet and Vueling.

Growth of international visitors

Malaga Airport also leads Spain in the overall growth of international visitors arriving by air, with an increase of 27.4% to almost 1.1 million passengers. The ministry pointed out: "between January and February Spain received 12.3 million international passengers, registering a notable increase of 15.5% compared to the same period in 2023. Compared to the pre-pandemic period, arrivals already exceed 15.3%".

February was a particularly busy month on the runways, with notable increases in visitors arriving from Poland, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland. By volume, the UK, Germany, Italy and France continue to be the main international markets for Spanish destinations.

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