Palma.—Palma's Son Joan airport handled 2.53 million passengers during the first half of this year, nearly 10 percent more than during the first six months of last year and the highest number of low cost airline passengers in Spain.

The figures were released yesterday by the Ministry for Tourism, Commerce and Industry in Madrid which also stated that Palma airport handles 15.5 percent of all low coast airline passengers flying into Spain.

But, it has not only been the no frills carriers which have enjoyed an increase in lift into Palma, so too have the scheduled airlines which have witnessed a near nine percent rise in passengers carrying a total of 749'547 passengers since the start of the year.

The United Kingdom is both Palma's and Spain's largest low cost market.

UK dominates
With a 35.2 percent share of the national market, Spanish airports have handled 5.76 million British low cost passengers during the first half of the year, 11.5 percent more than last year.

The German market, the second largest, also posted an increase in passengers of 9.3 percent to 12.55 million passengers giving them a 22 percent share of the market.

The UK market appears to be performing as expected with reports in London yesterday revealed that the number of Britons taking overseas holidays returned to its pre-recession level in May.

About 5.14 million UK residents took a trip abroad in May, a level not seen in the month since 2008.

Foreign trips up
The number of foreign trips increased by 11% to 14.5 million in the three months to the end of May, according to the Office for National Statistics.
However, travellers spent less per trip - spending only 7% more than in the same period a year ago and that is being reflected in the resorts here in Majorca.

And, Spanish holidays have become increasingly popular with Britons, with travel organisation Abta saying bookings to the country are 11% higher this season.

EasyJet said Spanish destinations took three of the top five spots in the list of most popular overseas holiday hotspots for Britons, with Alicante in second place and Barcelona in fifth.

Palma and Faro in Portugal are also among the top locations where travel insurance holders are going on holidays this summer.
EasyJet UK director Paul Simmons said: “The sandy shores, blue seas and promise of sunshine keep Brits flocking to Spain year after year for a relaxing summer break.” And last month, was a bumper month for Palma airport with the number of low cost passengers, 825'515, nearly 17 percent more than during June of 2010.

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