PASSENGERS returned in their droves last year to Alicante-Elche and Valencia airports according to figures released by operator Aena on Tuesday.

Alicante-Elche airport registered 13.2 million passengers in 2022, recovering 87.7% of 2019’s pre-pandemic travellers.

Valencia pulled in 8.1 million people, just 5% off 2019’s record-breaking figure.

December’s figures had Alicante-Elche at 97.1% of 2019 levels, while Valencia recorded a December record- up 2.6% on three years earlier.

Throughout last year, UK passengers dominated foreign arrivals at Alicante, with 4.6 million journeys, followed far behind by the Netherlands with 942,354 trips.

At Valencia, Italian travellers accounted for just over a million journeys, followed by Germany(707,060) and the United Kingdom(689,400).

Domestic passengers rose significantly at both airports compared to 2019, with Alicante and Valencia recording identical 13.5% increases.

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