SPAIN – The recovery of air traffic exceeds the European average

• Domestic flights fared the best, with a drop of 4%

• Over 650,000 flights were managed in the first eight months of the year

• If the flights are compared to those of August 2020, the figure is 51% higher

Month by month, the trend continues as air traffic recovers to pre-pandemic levels. ENAIRE managed over 160,000 flights in August (161,893), which is just 26% below the average for the entire network for the same month in 2019, the baseline year for data comparisons, since traffic in 2020 fell to minimal levels as a result of COVID-19.

This recovery in the number of flights in Spain is higher than that recorded throughout Europe, which saw a decrease in August of 29.4% with respect to August 2019.

A comparison between the flights managed by ENAIRE in August 2021 and those in the same period in 2020 shows an increase of 51.4%.

Domestic flights (37,869) exhibited the best trend in August, with a drop of 4.0% compared to the same month in 2019. International flights (89,804) went down by 32.4% compared to two years ago, and overflights (those that do not depart from or land at a Spanish airport) fell by 26.4% to 34,220.

Every ENAIRE control centre recorded traffic drops in August compared to the same month in 2019: Seville, 9.7%; Palma, 14.1%; Canary Islands, 19.6%; Barcelona, 24.7% and Madrid, 27.8%.

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.
Data from January to August

In the first eight months of the year, ENAIRE managed over 650,000 flights (652,459), 55.2% less than in the same period in 2019, of which 327,446 were international (-61.5%), 190,023 domestic (-34.8%); and 134,990 overflights (-57.1%).

A comparison of the flights managed by ENAIRE between January and August 2021 and those in the same period in 2020 shows an increase of 8.0%.

So far this year, half the traffic has been international (50%), 29% domestic and 21% overflights.

Recovery plan

ENAIRE is implementing a Recovery Plan for Air Navigation Services based on the forecasts being received from the European Network Manager. In full cooperation with EUROCONTROL, ENAIRE is working to standardise operational criteria in preparation for returning to pre-pandemic flight levels.

The Plan provides for a recovery of air traffic control operations in stages, based on the expected demand and scheduling criteria, and the efficient use of the available resources.

ENAIRE lowers its charges to help the sector

ENAIRE has again 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 is lowering its route charges the most in 2021, 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 pandemic.

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