The trend to recovering toward pre-COVID traffic levels continues

  • Domestic flights fared the best, with a recovery of 83.9%
  • ENAIRE managed more than 105,000 flights in the second month of the year
  • If the flights are compared to those of January 2021, the number is 208.3% higher
  • The recovery of air traffic in Spain exceeds the European average
  • International flights in the Balearic Islands rose 3.2% compared to 2019, a record year for traffic

The trend continues as air traffic recovers to pre-pandemic levels. ENAIRE managed over 105,000 flights in February (105,748), which is just 21.2% below the average for the entire network for the same month in 2019, a record year for traffic before the effects of COVID took hold in 2020.

This figure means that ENAIRE, the national air navigation service provider, recovered 78.8% of flights in February compared to 2019 levels, which is 7.1 points higher that the percentage recovered in January 2022 (71.7%).

This recovery in the number of flights in Spain is higher than the average recorded throughout Europe, which saw a decrease in February of 29.2% with respect to 2019.

A comparison between the flights managed by ENAIRE in February 2022 and those in the same period in 2021 shows an increase of 208.3%.

A comparison between February 2022 and February 2020, a month that had not yet been affected by the pandemic, shows a reduction of 23.9%.

Domestic flights in February 2022 (25,705) exhibited the best trend, with a drop of 16.1% with respect to the same month in 2019, equivalent to recovering 83.9% of the flights compared to the same month in that year.

International flights (56,978) went down by 21.9% compared to 2019, and overflights (those that do not depart from or land at a Spanish airport) fell by 24.4% to 23,065.

By ENAIRE control centre, Palma saw a 5.8% drop in flights in February compared to the same month in 2019, although there was a notable increase in the number of international flights managed in February (4,533), 3.2% more than in the same month in 2019, a record year for traffic all over Spain. The Canary Islands saw its flights decrease in February by 12.8%; Seville, 14.0%; Madrid, 20.5%; and Barcelona, 22.6%.

Air traffic comparison February 2022-2019

TOTAL % International % Domestic % Overflights %

ENAIRE network
105,748 -21.2% 56,978 -21.9% 25,705 -16.1% 23,065 -24.4%

Madrid CC
64,644 -20.5% 34,864 -19.1% 11,353 -23.4% 18,427 -21.4%

Barcelona CC
41,709 -22.6% 26,108 -23.4% 10,137 -19.4% 5,464 -24.3%

Canary Islands CC
24,779 -12.8% 13,170 -10.6% 9,479 -11.1% 2,130 -29.4%

Seville CC
24,080 -14.0% 11,093 -12.4% 7,533 -5.8% 5,454 -25.9%

Palma CC
10,139 -5.8% 4,533 3.2% 5,578 -11.9% 28 -28.2%

Note. The total number of flights operated by ENAIRE’s network does not necessarily match the total number of flights managed by each Control Centre (CC). This is due to the fact that a flight is registered according to the airspace and route it crosses. For example: a flight departing from Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport bound for Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat will be registered at the Control Centres in Madrid and Barcelona.

Cumulative data for 2022

In the first two months of the year, ENAIRE managed 209,327 flights, 24.9% fewer than in the same period in 2019, of which 114,582 were international (- 24.4%), 52,667 (-16.8%) were domestic and 42,078 (-33.9%) were overflights.

A comparison of the flights managed by ENAIRE between January and February with those in the same period in 2021 shows an increase of 208.3%. If compared to 2020, they went down by 23.9%.

Cumulative air traffic comparison January-February 2022-2019

TOTAL % International % Domestic % Overflights %

ENAIRE network
209,327 -24.9% 114,582 -24.4% 52,667 -16.8% 42,078 -33.9%

Madrid CC
128,171 -24.2% 70,778 -21.3% 23,545 -22.8% 33,848 -30.5%

Barcelona CC
82,691 -25.7% 51,875 -26.1% 20,965 -18.9% 9,851 -35.4%

Canary Islands CC
51,172 -15.0% 27,028 -14.1% 19,584 -12.7% 4,560 -27.7%

Seville CC
44,867 -23.3% 21,929 -17.1% 15,355 -7.9% 7,583 -50.7%

Palma CC
20,364 -11.6% 8,721 -9.6% 11,597 -12.8% 46 -47.7%

2022-2023 Summer Plan

For the high air traffic seasons (summer in mainland Spain and Balearic Islands and winter in the Canary Islands) in 2022 and 2023, ENAIRE has an ambitious action plan involving technical, operational and airspace restructuring projects, its so-called “2022-2023 Summer Plan”, which is based on the ENAIRE strategy defined in its 2025 Flight Plan and is part of a framework of work and collaboration with the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda, Aena and air carriers and associations.

In light of the continuing upward trend in air traffic, the 2022-2023 Summer Plan includes the national and international technical, operational and human resources measures needed to achieve the best possible safety, efficiency, speed, service quality and sustainability rates.

This requires the implementation of unrestricted routes so that airlines can fly on optimised, phased trajectories in 2022 and 2023-2024; new tools for flow control and dynamic airspace sectors.

ENAIRE lowers its charges to help the sector

ENAIRE drastically reduced its air navigation charges in 2021 to speed the recovery of the aviation sector.

Of the 38 countries in EUROCONTROL, Spain, through ENAIRE, is the one that lowered its route charges the most in 2021, to around 8% below the average charge.

ENAIRE reduced its continental route charge in 2020 (-16.7%) and 2021 (-11%) by 26%, and in the Canary Islands (-12.5% /-8.5%, respectively) by 20%, thus helping the aviation sector to recover from the crisis brought about by the

Moreover, until 2024, air navigation charges will remain below 2019 levels, a year in which ENAIRE was already operating with the lowest charges in the last ten years, and which were among the most competitive in Europe. As a
result, the continental charges in 2022 will be 19.4% lower than in 2019, and in the Canary Islands they will be lowered by 14.4%.

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