Airports have recovered their pulse but are still far from the figures prior to the pandemic. According to data made public by Aena this Friday, the Barcelona-El Prat, Reus and Girona-Costa Brava terminals added 4,806,006 million passengers during the month of July, a figure 18% lower than that recorded in the same month of 2019, when the record number of 5.8 million tourists was reached. In Spain as a whole, July closed with 27 million passengers, which is only 8% less than before the pandemic.
If compared between Catalan airports, the Reus terminal, which provides service to the entire province of Tarragona with the tourist area of the Costa Daurada, is the one that recovers the fastest, with 16% fewer passengers, although it is far from the Spanish average. At the opposite extreme is Girona, the reference airport for the tourist area of Empordà and the Costa Brava, which registered 28% lower figures this July than before the pandemic.
For its part, the El Prat airport, which accounts for 90% of the passengers passing through Catalonia, registered a 17.3% decrease in tourists in the first full month of summer when compared to the same period in 2019. Barajas airport, in Madrid, registered a reduction of 15.5% in the same comparison.
Catalan airports have suffered from the drop in international tourists, which has still not reached pre-pandemic figures. According to the data provided by Aena, in Spain as a whole the foreign visitor has decreased by 12.3%, while the users of national flights have grown by 2.6%. The Catalan market, highly exposed to visitors from countries such as France, the United Kingdom and Germany, and less attractive to those who come from other Spanish communities, has been especially penalized by the drop in international influx.
However, other airports closely linked to tourism have had much lower drops than the Catalan ones. The air base of Palma de Mallorca practically reached the figures for 2019 in July, with a reduction of 1.8%, that of Ibiza has even experienced a slight increase of 0.8%, while another island, Gran Canaria, practically has returned to the same figures as three years ago. Malaga airport registered a decrease of 7.3%, while Alicante-Elche closed July with 11.7% fewer passengers.