Data from Turespaña

Spain receives almost 20 million international air passengers in the first quarter, up 16% on 2023

News - 2024.4.18

18/04/2024. Passengers in an airport. Passengers in an airport Passengers in an airport

  • x: opens new window
  • Whatsapp: opens new window
  • Linkedin: opens new window
  • Send: opens new window

Of these, 57% came from the EU, an increase of 19.9%, while the flow from the rest of the world, which accounted for the remaining 43%, grew by 13.9%. In the first quarter as a whole, Spain has already received close to 19.9 million international passengers, 16% more than in the first three months of 2023.

For Jordi Hereu, "these significant growth figures for air passengers in the first quarter, which include the Easter holidays, are a symptom not only of the good health of our tourism and international confidence in the quality of our destinations, but also of the unstoppable process of deseasonalisation of arrival flows and the end of the distinction between low season and high season that historically characterised this industry".

March continued the upward trend seen at the beginning of the year, with an increase in passengers departing to Spain from all the main issuing countries. In March, Poland (80.4%), Germany (22.2%), Switzerland (21.4%) and Italy (21.2%) showed notable growth. In the market diversification section ("other countries"), the strong growth in China, South Korea and Canada, with values of more than 100%, was particularly noteworthy.

Main source markets

The UK, with 1.6 million international passengers, generated 20.7% of the total flow of arrivals to Spain in March, recording a year-on-year increase of 10.3%. The Canary Islands was the largest recipient of British arrivals, accounting for 36.7% of the total number of passengers of this nationality. The Valencian Community, Andalusia, Catalonia and Galicia were, for their part, the main beneficiaries, registering growth of more than 10% year-on-year. Some 82.3% of British passengers travelled on a low-cost carrier (LCC), with the UK the leader in arrivals on these airlines, accounting for 28.7% of the total.

Passenger arrivals from Germany stood at 1,067,703 in March (14% of the total), an increase of 22.2% compared to March 2023. German travellers mainly went to the Canary Islands (32% of passengers) and the Balearic Islands (23.4%). Notably, slightly less than half of German passengers (47.1% of the total) travelled on traditional airlines, with Germany the leading market in terms of arrivals on these airlines (16.3% of the total).

Italy accounted for 9.4% of the flow of passengers welcomed in March (717,575 passengers), recording a year-on-year growth of 21.2%, which particularly benefited Catalonia and the Madrid Region. The Basque Country and Asturias recorded a notable year-on-year growth of more than 100%. Among Italian travellers, 79.6% chose low-cost airlines, an increase of 23.9% compared to a year ago.

France, on the other hand, issued 7.5% of the total number of passengers in March, an increase of 14% which particularly favoured Madrid, Catalonia and Valencia, which each received more than 10,000 additional passengers compared to the same month of the previous year. A total of 65.3% of French passengers flew with a low-cost carrier (LCC), a year-on-year growth of 11.2%.

Last, the Netherlands accounted for 4.8% of the total number of travellers. This market experienced a growth of 12.3% in March, with Catalonia, Valencia and Andalusia as the main destinations, together accounting for around 62.7% of the share of arrivals. The vast majority of travellers from the Netherlands (72.4%) also chose low-cost airlines for their flights.

Autonomous communities of destination

The six main communities receiving visitors accounted for a 97.4% share of arrivals, recording notable increases in the third month of the year. The highest increase was recorded in Andalusia with a year-on-year increase of 22.5%, and the most moderate, 11.7%, was in the Community of Madrid.

Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport received the most arrivals in March, with 1.9 million, followed by Barcelona, with 1.5 million, and Malaga, with 726,031. The highest year-on-year increase was at Malaga airport, with a 21.6% increase, followed by Valencia, with a 20.2% increase.

Non official translation