A new publication has measured the number of passengers travelling by air to each EU member state, with Spain’s airports measuring high levels of growth.
The EU statistics agency, Eurostat, has said that in 2017, 1.043 billion passengers travelled by air in the EU.
This total has risen by seven per cent compared with 2016 stats and by 39 per cent compared with 2009 data.
Flights originating and bound for other EU states accounted for 47 per cent of all air passengers.
Britain saw the largest number of airline passengers in 2017, registering 265 million in total. Spain registered 210 million passengers in the same year.
While London Heathrow retained its place as Europe’s busiest airport (78 million passengers), Spain’s Malaga/Costa del Sol airport and Alicante-Elche airports were noted to be increasing in passenger numbers.
Malaga/Costa del Sol recorded a 12 per cent increase on the previous year’s total passenger count.
This growth rate ranks the Costa del Sol airport as Europe’s sixth fastest growing airport last year.
Interestingly, less passengers flew from London Gatwick airport to the Costa del Sol airport in 2017 than in 2016. However, Gatwick remains the number one airport in Europe for passengers travelling to Malaga, 582,164 passengers made the journey last year.
Manchester airport is the second most popular airport for passengers travelling to the Costa del Sol, registering 354,773 passengers in 2017.
Amsterdam-Schiphol (354,103), Barcelona El Prat (352,229) and Copenhagen-Kastrup (284,730) airports were the third, fourth and fifth most popular airports for passengers flying to the Costa del Sol.
78.9 per cent of all Costa del Sol bound passengers started their journey from within the EU.
As for Alicante-Elche airport, an 11 per cent increase was recorded in passenger numbers for 2017 when compared to the previous year.
This growth rate ranks Alicante-Elche airport as Europe’s seventh fastest growing airport in 2017.
Manchester Airport was the most popular airport for passengers travelling to Alicante, with 449,757 passengers recorded last year.
Gatwick registered 442,173 passengers travelling to Alicante-Elche with other British airports such as Birmingham (218,129) and East Midlands (201,271) being recorded as the fourth and fifth most popular airports to visit the Costa Blanca.
Amsterdam-Schiphol in Holland was the third most popular origin airport for passengers flying to Alicante with 237,717 passengers recorded.
79 per cent of all flights to Alicante-Elche in 2017 originated from within the EU.
Every EU member state recorded a higher number of air passengers in 2017 than in 2016.