‘Low cost’ carriers up 7.1% for first quarter of 2014

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

The Balearics however saw a 22.3% downturn in air passengers, a decline of 19.8% from Palma de Mallorca airport alone.

The low cost airlines in Spain took 4.82 million passengers in the first quarter of this year, a 7.1% rise in respect the same period last year,  according to data published by the Subdirección General de Conocimiento y Estudios Turísticos, dependiente del Ministerio de Industria, Energía y Turismo.  (General Awareness & Tourism Studies branch under the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism.)

In comparison traditional airlines flew more than 6.6 million travelers during the same period, 3% more than the same time in 2013.  Of a total of 11.4 million passengers all airlines recorded a 4.6 % rise in travelers.

The low cost companies took 42.1% of the air traffic passengers in contrast to traditional airlines who had a 57.9% share of the air travel tourists.

In March alone the low cost carriers took 1.8 million passengers, up 0.1%  and accounted for 42.4% of total air traffic compared to 2.5 million from traditional companies who were down 0.4%.

Ryanair, EasyJet and Vueling were the leading ‘low cost’ airlines, and together they shared 65.9% of the low cost market.  From the three, Vueling registered annual increase.  Vueling

 During the first three months of 2014 the most frequented airports in Spain by low cost airlines were Barcelona-El Prat, with 1.3 million travelers an increase of 15.2%; Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas with 656,635 air passengers  and a rise of 2.9%; Málaga, with 585,122 flyers up 11%.

These three were followed by Alicante which received 537,488 travelers, up 8%; Tenerife south with a  21.2% rise in passengers having 431,297. All Spanish airports registered growth in air travelers except Valencia  which fell by 1.2%, with 180,909 passengers and Palma de Mallorca with a decline of 19.8 % with only 123,607 travelers.

Catalonia and Canaries lead among the communities.

By Autonomous Regions, the communities of  Catalonia, Andalusia and Valencia led the ranking for the most business with low cost airlines for the first quarter.

Catalonia led the list with 30.2% of the low cost market having 1.4 million passengers, up 8.3% from last year. Followed by the Canaries with 20.2% of the business from 974,940 passengers, a 19.3 % rise.  The Valencian communities had together 718,397 passengers  registering a rise of 5.6%.

Andalusia followed with 718,174 travelers, up 8.3%; the communities of Madrid with 656,635 a +2.9 % rise and then the Balearic Islands with 126,245 passengers but down on last year at this time with a decline of -22.3 %.

The UK is the biggest market for low cost flyers coming to Spain.

The UK and Italy head low cost markets, with the first quarter of 2014 having 33.7% and 12.5% of passengers who chose this path respectively.  Growth of 3.5% for the UK market (1.6 million passengers), and 4.7% in the Italian market (603,739 travelers).  Germany was the third largest with an increase of 24.3% for 515,871 passengers equivalent to 10.7% of total passengers.

Brendan Bierley


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