Traffic at Spain’s Aena airports outperforms European peers

(Reuters) – Passenger traffic at Spain’s Aena airports exceeded pre-pandemic levels for an eighth consecutive month in August, while traffic in other European terminals still lagged.

The number of passengers travelling through Spanish airports in August rose 9.5% from 2022 to 29.8 million, state-controlled airport operator Aena said in a statement on Tuesday.

It was 1.4% higher than in the same month of 2019.

Worldwide airlines continued to benefit from the rebound in leisure travel across the summer, although IAG and Ryanair have recently been lukewarm about demand for the rest of the year as high inflation and rising interest rates squeeze household incomes.

Spanish airports rely more on leisure and less on business travel, which has recovered more slowly from the pandemic.

Airports Council International Europe said on Tuesday that passenger traffic across the region in July, the peak month of the summer, came closest ever to a full recovery to pre-COVID levels, but still stood 3% below.

Globally, traffic in July was at 95.6% compared to 2019, the International Air Transport Association said earlier this month.

London’s Heathrow Airport, Britain’s busiest, said on Monday that annual traffic figures will remain below pre-pandemic levels.

(Reporting by Matteo Allievi, editing by Inti Landauro; Editing by Sharon Singleton)