SPAIN clocked up a record number of airline passengers in 2023 to exceed levels recorded before the Covid pandemic.

Figures from the Aena operated network showed over 283 million people passed through their airports last year- 16% more than 2022 and 2.9% up on 2019 when the previous record of 275.2 million was reached.

Out of the total, 189.73 million travelled on international flights, which is 18% up on the previous year’s figures which were still deflated due to pandemic restrictions.

Domestically, there were 92.66 million travellers- nearly 13% more than in 2022.

Aena president, Maurici Lucena said that the record figures are ‘fundamental for the economic and social development of Spain’.

“We should all congratulate ourselves for them, including the airlines that, like Aena, suffered the harsh consequences of the pandemic and are now transporting more passengers than ever,” Lucena said.

Unsurprisingly, the country’s two biggest airports dominated passenger numbers with 60.2 million recorded at Madrid-Barajas(19% more than in 2022), followed by Barcelona where almost 50 million trips were recorded last year(20% up on the previous year).

A slew of airports recorded their best-ever year including Palma de Mallorca, with 31.1 million passengers, up 9% on 2022; Malaga-Costa del Sol, with 22.3 million passengers- 21% more than in 2022: and Alicante-Elche, with 15.6 million passengers (19% more).

Record tumbled elsewhere with Gran Canaria recording 13.9 million passengers (12% more); Tenerife South, with 12.3 million (14% more) and Valencia, with almost 10 million passengers- 22% more than the previous year.

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