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When exactly is high season?

Author:   |  August 6th, 2018

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Relaxed scenes like this have been hard to come by in recent weeks at Málaga airport, as passenger numbers have soared in high season.

High season” in Spain is actually more difficult to define than you may think. If you ask a Spaniard, they would probably tell you the sacred holidaymaking month of August. An expat might extend this period to the entire months of July and August. According to hotels, guesthouses and campsites, probably a bit longer still…

But according to Aena – the owners of several Spanish airports including Madrid-Adolfo Suárez Barajas, Barcelona-El Prat and our own Málaga-Costa del Sol – the actual duration of this year’s high season is less than two weeks.

To be specific, the eleven days from Friday 27th July until Monday 6th August (today) constitute the busiest period of the summer, with 865,000 air passengers passing through Málaga airport on over 5,000 flights.

This last Saturday 4th August alone, there were 513 flight departures and arrivals, meaning a footfall of 85,500 in just 24 hours.

The high-speed passenger train – known as the AVE – was also running at near-full capacity. Even having to double the length of its trains on the busy link between Málaga and Madrid, state operator Renfe expected to carry 87,000 passengers on that route over the same period.

Buses and coaches have also had to increase the number of available seats by up to 50% on services from Málaga bus terminal, with daily passenger volumes fluctuating between 25,000 and 50,000.

While visitor numbers continue to flourish in July and August year after year, Aena have reported an increasing tendency for holidaymakers to travel in the months of June and September. These months have historically been the wheelhouse of the smart traveller, who gets the advantages of great weather and out-of-season prices… and Aena’s data points to an increasing number of people following suit.

Let’s just hope hotels don’t respond to this and extend high season for the entire four months between June and September!

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