Malaga Airport to connect to 130 destinations across the globe this summer with direct flights

Malaga Airport to connect to 130 destinations across the globe this summer with direct flights

Peak season started last weekend with airlines planning to offer almost 18 million seats to or from the Costa del Sol

Pilar Martínez


Friday, 31 March 2023, 13:35


The clocks going forward one hour marked the beginning of a new season for air transport and the busiest for traffic. Starting this weekend, and until the end of October, Malaga will be connected by direct flights to 130 destinations across the globe. The airlines have placed their faith in the Costa del Sol, scheduling almost 18 million seats. In a nutshell, this summer they plan for passenger traffic at Malaga airport to match the tally for all of last year, (18.5 million travellers, 93% of the pre-pandemic total).

Data provided by Aena (Malaga's airport authority) highlights that the airlines are offering 14.4% more seats than for the same peak season of 2019, with the volume of flights scheduled by the airlines for this period also to grow by 9.7%, totalling 99,400 ground operations over the 31 weeks of peak season this year.

From the Costa del Sol it will be possible to travel to more destinations than before, without having to make a stopover. Although mainly to places elsewhere in Europe, it is worth mentioning the exciting news that Malaga airport will recover the New York route, dropped by Delta Airlines in the summer of 2019.

United Airlines will start flying from May 31, with three flights per week from Malaga to the Big Apple. Malaga province also strengthens its routes to other parts of North America starting with Montreal, the largest city in the province of Quebec in Canada.

Middle East market

Other markets of great interest for Malaga as a travel destination are those in the Middle East, as these open doors to luxury travellers with high purchasing power. Moreover they provide key connections to bring Malaga's coastline closer to the Asian markets.

This summer Malaga airport will have direct flights on offer to Doha, Bahrain, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia. Furthermore Tel Aviv returns as a connecting city to the Costa del Sol after a lengthy absence due to the pandemic. Israir Airlines will link both destinations with a weekly flight on Tuesdays from May 16 to October 24.

The expansion into Africa is also worth noting, with non-stop flights from Malaga to fourteen cities.

However, Spain and the UK top the leader board for routes offered by the airlines. A total of 52 airlines will link the Costa del Sol to the world via 254 routes this summer.

Of these, two hundred connect with European countries and 33 are links with domestic airports.

The strong pull of domestic tourism has increased the offer of flights covering all of Spain by 23% which, in absolute terms, means that more than 20,200 take-offs and landings have been scheduled.

The availability of seats has skyrocketed by 40%, exceeding pre-pandemic levels, as part of the plan to move almost three million passengers between domestic airports.

The UK bond

Routes between Malaga, Western Europe and especially the UK, still remain at the heart of the airlines' business. When drawn on a map the routes to the UK resemble a solid line, in particular, the airports connecting Malaga with London. Aena data indicates that:

"Europe is boosting the volume of connections to Malaga - 6% up on seats, now more than 14 million. Flights are also growing, with 3% more movements than in the same period for 2019, totalling 74,000," stated a spokesperson.

They added that there will be more connections with the UK than within Spain itself, monopolising 51 of the 254 routes available at Malaga airport.

"This reaffirms the UK as the No.1 country most connected to this airport. The airlines have scheduled almost 4.5m seats and more than 23,000 flights with the UK for the 2023 peak season starting now until the last weekend of October," they said.

In fact, the British market is the main international provider of visitors to Malaga province, accounting for around 30% of the passengers using Malaga airport and a similar proportion of guests staying in hotels.

International tourism

This summer also marks the recovery of international tourism from other nations, evidenced by the rise in connections with Germany, traditionally the second most important market, with 14% more seats and 9% more flights for this peak season.

France comes next with airlines increasing seats by 13% and flights by 11%. The Netherlands had slipped from second place a long time ago, but is growing again this summer with 15% more places and 12% more flights.

The biggest planned growth is to link the Costa del Sol more with Italy, with 60% and 52% more seats and flights respectively.

As for city destinations, London remains in the lead as the city with the most seats (almost 1.9m) and flights (over 10,000) offered by airlines based at Malaga airport. The rest of the top ten are Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Dublin, Melilla, Brussels, Manchester and Stockholm.

Part of Aena's strategy is to incentivise airlines to expand in new ways following the pandemic,

"The incentive consists of reimbursing 100% of the passenger airport fee applied to the number of travellers with each airline if that airline either: opens routes to new destinations; grows passenger numbers on routes that operate at airports with less than 3m passengers; or opens connections with Asia."

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