Air traffic is recovering but at a slower rate than expected. Aena airports closed 2021 with 119.5 million passengers, which represents 43.6% of the traffic in 2019, although 57.7% more compared to those transported in 2020, according to the airport manager on Tuesday.
Throughout the year, the number of aircraft movements was 1.5 million, 35.7% less than in 2019; and 998,471 tons of goods were transported, 6.6% less than in 2019.
Of the total number of passengers registered in 2021, 119.3 million corresponded to commercial passengers, of which 52 million traveled on domestic flights, 39.2% less than in 2019, and another 67.3 million did so on international routes , 64.3% less.
By airports, the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas registered the highest number of passengers on the network in 2021 with 24.1 million, which represents a decrease of 60.9% compared to 2019 and an increase of 41% compared to 2020.
It was followed by the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat airport, with 18.8 million passengers (a decrease of 64.2% in 2019 and an increase of 48.2% in 2020); Palma de Mallorca, with 14.4 million (-51.2% in 2019 and + 137.3% in 2020); Malaga-Costa del Sol, with 8.8 million (-55.3% and + 72%), Gran Canaria, with 6.9 million (-48% and + 34.4%); Alicante-Elche, with 5.8 million (-61.2% and + 56.2%); Ibiza, with 4.5 million (-40.5% and + 129.9%), Tenerife South, with 4.6 million (-58.8% and + 35.8%) and Valencia, with 4 million (- 52.2% and + 63.9%).
Regarding the number of operations, the airport that registered the highest volume of movements in 2021 was Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, with a total of 217,537 (-49%); followed by Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat, with 163,679 (-52.5%) and that of Palma de Mallorca, with 141,189 (-35%).
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Next on the Aena list are the Malaga-Costa del Sol airport, with 92,227 (-36.4%), and Gran Canaria, with 83,981 (-33.6%); Ibiza, with 61,612 (-18.3%); Tenerife North-Ciudad de la Laguna, with 54,580 (-27.6%) and Alicante-Elche, with 51,505 movements (-49.2%).
In addition, the airports that mainly had non-commercial activity and that recorded a greater number of movements in 2021 were Madrid-Cuatro Vientos, with 60,759 operations (+ 17%), Sabadell, with 51,665 (+ 2%), and Jerez, with 41,260 (-24.3%).
As far as merchandise is concerned, in 2021 998,471 tons of cargo were transported throughout the Aena network, 6.6% less compared to 2019, due to the fact that a very important part of the usual cargo has been transferred in commercial aircraft of passengers.
The four airports that received the highest freight traffic last year were Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, with a total of 523,396 tons (-6.5%); Zaragoza, 194,352 tons (+ 6.4%); Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat, with 136,107 (-23%), and Vitoria, with 72,522 tons (+ 12.5%).
Regarding the month of December, Aena’s airport network registered a total of 12.7 million passengers, 30.3% less than in the same month of 2019, representing a recovery of 69.7% of the prepandemic data, and 233.2% more than in 2020.
Of these, 12.6 million were commercial passengers, of which 5.27 million corresponded to domestic flights, 18.2% less than in December 2019, and 7.38 million passengers traveled on international routes, 37% less.
The transported merchandise totaled 95,333 tons, 0.3% less than in December 2019.