Palma.—The Institute for Tourist Studies (IET) reported yesterday that 272'350 passengers were flown into Palma airport last month by low cost airlines, 7.7 percent more than in March 2011.

The year-on-year increase is the second highest in the country, beaten only by Barcelona airport which had 22.3 percent more low cost passengers last month than in the same period in 2011.

After the release of the Institute's report on passenger numbers handled in March 2012 in Spain, statistics showed that Palma had the third highest passenger volume - including both low cost and traditional airlines in its total - in the country. Barcelona proved to be the airport handling the highest number of low cost and traditional airline passengers, 474'588.

Looking at how the increase in low cost passenger numbers has affected Balearic airports as a whole, the report showed that the year-on-year increase last month was 7.4 percent in comparison with March 2011.

However, at a national level, low cost airlines carried 5.91 million passengers over the first three months o fthe year, a downturn of 1.7 percent in comparison with the same period in 2011. The figure contrasts with the number of traditional airline passengers during the same period, 5.32 million - an upturn of 0.3 percent in comparison with the first three months of 2011.

In terms of key client markets, the United Kingdom and Germany held a lead position as the most numerous low cost passengers to Spain, 31.6 and 19.7% of the total respectively. The British market was up 0.6% in comparison with 2011 but German clientele was down 7.2%.

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