Holy Week is expected to have 71,471 flights and overflights
- Domestic flights fared the best, with a recovery of 88.8%
- ENAIRE managed more than 135,000 flights in the third month of the year
- Compared to March 2021, the number of flights grew by 215.8%
- The recovery of air traffic in Spain exceeds the European average by 10 percentage points
- Flights in the Balearic Islands rose 2.6%
The trend continues as air traffic recovers to pre-pandemic levels. ENAIRE managed over 135,000 flights in March (135,423), which is just 13.6% 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 86.4% of flights in March compared to 2019 levels, which is 7.6 points higher that the percentage recovered in February 2022 (78.8%).
This recovery in the number of flights in Spain is 10 percentage points higher than the average recorded throughout Europe, which saw a decrease in March of 23.6% with respect to 2019.
A comparison between the flights managed by ENAIRE in March 2022 and those in the same period in 2021 shows an increase of 215.8%.
Domestic flights in March 2022 (31,316) exhibited the best trend, with a drop of 11.2% with respect to the same month in 2019, equivalent to recovering 88.8% of the flights compared to the same month in that year. International flights (73,134) went down by 14.9% compared to 2019, and overflights (those that do not depart from or land at a Spanish airport) fell by 12.9% to 30,973.
There was a notable increase in the number of flights managed by the Palma control centre, 2.6% more than in March 2019 with 14,994 flights. In Seville, it went down by 3.0%; in the Canary Islands, 9.0%; in Madrid, 13.2%; and in
Air traffic comparison March 2022/2019
TOTAL % International % Domestic % Overflights %
135,423 -13.6% 73,134 -14.9% 31,316 -11.2% 30,973 -12.9%
81,308 -13.2% 42,899 -13.4% 13,727 -19.0% 24,682 -9.4%
55,189 -14.0% 34,820 -15.4% 12,907 -10.9% 7,462 -12.2%
Canary Islands CC
29,802 -9.0% 15,557 -8.8% 11,615 -5.7% 2,630 -22.3%
32,001 -3.0% 14,571 -3.4% 9,163 -2.5% 8,267 -2.7%
14,994 2.6% 7,663 6.2% 7,304 -0.3% 27 -58.5%
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.
Forecasts for Holy Week by control centre
From 8 to 18 April, ENAIRE is expecting to manage 71,471 flights and overflights throughout Spain. Of these, 35,356 flights will be managed by ENAIRE’s Control Centre in Madrid; 20,202 flights in Barcelona; 13,816 in Seville; 11,199 in the Canary Islands and 10,683 in Palma.
The days of Holy Week with the most flights scheduled in total are 9 April with 7,037, and 16 April with 7,027.
The forecast for 9 April by centre is as follows: Madrid, 3,428 flights; Barcelona, 1,994; Seville, 1,385; Canary Islands, 1,260; and, Palma, 1,072.
The forecast for 16 April by centre is: Madrid, 3,416; Barcelona, 2,000; Seville, 1,387; Canary Islands, 1,235; and Palma, 1,053.
Cumulative data for 2022
In the first three months of the year, ENAIRE managed 344,750 flights, 20.8% fewer than in the same period in 2019, of which 187,716 were international (-21.0%), 83,983 (-14.8%) were domestic and 73,051 (-26.4%) were overflights.
A comparison of the flights managed by ENAIRE in the first quarter with those in the same period in 2021 shows an increase of 181.0%.
Cumulative air traffic comparison January-March 2022-2019
TOTAL % International % Domestic % Overflights %
344,750 -20.8% 187,716 -21.0% 83,983 -14.8% 73,051 -26.4%
209,479 -20.3% 113,677 -18.5% 37,272 -21.4% 58,530 -22.9%
137,880 -21.4% 86,695 -22.1% 33,872 -16.1% 17,313 -27.1%
80,974 -12.8% 42,585 -12.3% 31,199 -10.2% 7,190 -25.8%
76,868 -16.0% 36,500 -12.1% 24,518 -5.9% 15,850 -33.6%
35,358 -6.1% 16,384 -2.8% 18,901 -8.4% 73 -52.3%
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 pandemic.
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%.
ENAIRE – also photo