SPANISH Airports Authority (AENA) reported yesterday that during April this year, there had been a 5.1 percent downturn in the number of users of its airports across the country, and that only Palma reported an upturn in passengers of 1.5 percent in respect of the same month in 2008.

AENA said that in comparison to April last year, combined figures for Spanish airports showed a 12.2 percent fall-off in operations and a decline of 23.6 in the air freight sector. A spokesman for the Authority said the figures reflect a “slowing down” in the use of air transport, “triggered by the global economic crisis.” During April this year, Spanish airports handled 15.7 million passengers, operated more than 182'500 flights and transported more than 41'390 tonnes of freight.

Although there were 2.3 percent less passengers using Barajas airport in Madrid this year than there were last, it was still the one belonging to AENA that handled the most (4'237'705), followed by El Prat in Barcelona with 2'392'825 (-7.8%); Palma with 1'591'879 (+1.5%); Malaga 1'025'824 (-5.1%); Gran Canaria 815'258 (-2%); and Alicante 755'637 (-6.1%).

Of the 15'783'705 passengers who used AENA airports in April this year, 15'673'369 used commercial flights (down 5 percent compared to the same month last year) and of those, 9'168'010 were international flights (-1.8%) and 6'505'359 were national flights (-9.1%).