Staff Reporter

PALMA
PALMA airport handled 22.3 million passengers in 2006, the third consecutive year in which the airport had registered an increase in its activity of above five percent, due mainly to the increase in tourism which, in 2006, was excellent.

Although the definitive figures will not be available until the middle of January, AENA (the Spanish Airports Authority) has released provisional figures which indicate that between the months of January and December 22'367'913 passengers passed through the terminal.

Practically all the Spanish, British and German airlines have had a good year, but especially Air Berlin, the Iberia group, Spanair, Air Europa, Condor, Hapag-Lloyd and LTU, Britannia.

This was due to the reactivation of the British tourist market, the consolidation of the German market, and the spectacular growth in Spanish tourism which, during the last three tourist seasons, has grown by more than 50 percent.

FORECASTS
The forecasts for 2007 are even more positive, and the demand for flights for Summer 2007 will increase by more than five percent.
It is expected that by the end of the year the barrier of 23 million passengers passing through the airport will have been broken.
In contrast with other tourist seasons, the 2006 season was characterised by Palma airport's absolutely normal handling of its passengers, as the distribution of traffic was more rational than in previous years.

However, they did not exceed the passenger movement record held by a day in August 2005.
In the opinion of AENA, this demonstrates that the Spanish and European airlines have chosen to divert traffic to off-peak times, thus optimising airport activity.

FREIGHT
Another thing which stands out is the increase in freight traffic.
This exceeded 15 percent in 2006, which was due to the reactivation of the Balearic economy.
Proof of this reactivation in the economy is shown by the increase in the Balearic Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by more than three percent.
All this has contributed to Palma airport having the best season in its history with regard to number of passengers, amount of business and profits.

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