Staff Reporter THE British were the second largest group of passengers at Palma's Son Sant Joan airport in the first ten months of the year, with a total of more than 4.7 million, seven per cent more than the same period last year. The top spot goes to the Germans with 5.5 million travellers, six per cent more than last year, and third were the Spanish, with 4.4 million, up by 13 per cent.

According to the Spanish Airports Authority, total passenger traffic at Son Sant Joan during the month of October reached a figure of 1'760'598.
In the cargo sector, a total of 1'894 tonnes was shipped in or out of the island.
All these operations were encompassed in 15'549 take-offs and landings and reflected an increase of 7.1 percent in the number of passengers. Although there was a 3.6 percent rise in the number of passengers carried, there was a 1% drop in the level of merchandise shipped. In October this year, Spanish airports were used by nearly 14 million passengers, 7.4 percent more than in the same month of 2002, although they operated 166'433 flights, some 0.2 percent less. Over the same period, Spanish airports oversaw operations for the transportation of 56'246 tonnes of merchandise, 3.6 percent more, reported the Airports Authority yesterday. The total number of passengers which used the Spanish airports network was 13'915 million people, out of which 5.39 million were travellers on national flights (9% more) and the remaining 8.37 million were for international flights (6.3% more). Barajas Airport in Madrid was once again the airport with the highest passenger figures, with 3.21 million (6.5% more); second came El Prat in Barcelona with 2.1 million and then Palma with 1.76 million passengers, both with growth rates of 10.5 and 7.1 percent, respectively. Palma airport was also in the top three regarding the number of aircraft operations during October, only following behind Barajas airport in Madrid, and El Prat airport in Barcelona.