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Onwards and upwards: Málaga airport passenger figures have lift off

Author:   |  October 12th, 2017

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A soaring year for Malaga airport in 2016 is set to be bettered in 2017.

A soaring year for Málaga airport in 2016 is set to be bettered in 2017.

If various facets of Spanish life were to be distilled into a graph, pretty much all of the lines would be shooting satisfyingly upwards.

From the economy to life expectancy to jobs to house prices – things are going incredibly well for Spain and Spaniards right now. You can add tourism to that cocktail, too: this year is set to be the best yet for visitor numbers to Spain, with spending up, overnight stays up, and the number of flights in and out of the country also – obviously – up…

Leading this charge are the most popular tourist areas of the Balearics, the Canaries, the Costa Brava and, of course, the Costa del Sol.

And while Málaga airport’s passenger data for 2017 still has a few months to go, the stats for 2016 – published this week by EU statistics agency Eurostat – make for some pretty encouraging reading.

According to the data there was a 15.7% increase in passenger numbers at Málaga airport in 2016 compared to 2015, making the Costa del Sol hub the second fastest-growing airport in Europe last year, behind only London-Luton.

In total, some 16.6 million passengers passed through Málaga airport last year, and that figure is almost certain to be surpassed in 2017.

The numbers are even more impressive for Barcelona’s El Prat airport, which welcomed a whopping 43.7 million passengers last year – an annual increase of 11%. However, some locals may not be happy to read that statistic given the recent campaigns in the city to limit tourist numbers.

Overall, Spanish airports were the third-busiest in Europe in 2016, handling 194 million passengers. Germany’s airports were the second busiest, handling 201 million passengers (not surprising when one considers that Germany is Europe’s most populous country), while way out in front was the UK, where 249 million passengers passed through its airports in 2016 – a combination of Britain’s own strength as a tourist destination, and Britons’ collective desire to get somewhere warm and sunny at every opportunity!

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