Wednesday, 26 April 2023, 13:45
The leading air travel sector association in Spain is warning of collapse in some European airports ahead of what is expected to be a record summer for flights to and from Spanish destinations.
The Asociación de Líneas Aéreas (ALA), has forecast there will be 219 million seats available for this summer in Spain, some 3% more than the 213 million occupied during the same period in 2019, which was a record year.
ALA members accounts for 85% of air traffic in Spain, including the 10 airlines with the most traffic. Specifically, it is made up of 60 airlines, national and international, of all business types.
But the organisation is warning that tourism boom could come with operational issues as some European airports could buckle under the pressure, which was what happened last summer.
As a result the association asked for government help to ensure that the strikes in France - which mainly affect air traffic control - do not cause major problems in Spain. It follows a Eurocontrol report which calculated that Spain would be the country most affected by these strikes, with more a potential for more than 400 delayed flights and 63% more cancellations than usual.
Amsterdam's Schiphol airport has already warned that it will need to reduce the number of flights this summer because it did not have the operational capacity, as was the case in the United Kingdom last year.
“Spain has been a model of good management after the pandemic, but this situation could have a lot of indirect repercussions for us," ALA president Javier Gándara said.
Andalucía, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands were leading the growth in seat scheduling for this summer in Spain, according to summer forecasts, while Madrid and Barcelona still remain below pre-pandemic levels.
ALA data shows that Andalucía would be the destination where flights would grow the most (8.2%) compared to 2019, with 25.6 million seats scheduled.
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