Spain’s airport operator has reported Malaga’s Costa del Sol airport to have received 3.7 million passengers in the from January to March 2023.

This represents an 8.7 per cent increase to that of 2019 and 35.4 per cent more than last year. As a result, it is officially Spain’s third busiest airport, exceeding other major tourist destinations such as Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife.

Malaga was behind only Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport and Barcelona’s Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat airport, receiving 13.4 million and 9.9 million passengers respectively.

Madrid saw an increase of 47.2 per cent on the same period in 2022 and practically equalling the figures for 2019. Barcelona registered 9.9 million passengers, 56.2 per cent more than in 2022, and 5.1 per cent below the pre-pandemic level.

Passengers from the United Kingdom were identified as the largest single passenger group, accounting for 330,114 passengers. The Netherlands supplied 102,275, Germany with 86,124, France with 70,170 and Italy 65,729.

The strength of the domestic market is also highlighted where 2019 records were exceeded by an encouraging 32.1%, with the remaining 314,182 commercial passengers traveling either to or from another Spanish location to Malaga.

A similar trend occurred in aircraft movements, with a total of 10,908 flights, 11.4 per cent more than before the pandemic. Of this total, 7,670 were international operations, going up by 7 per cent, and 2,811 within Spain, a rise of 22.5 per cent.