PALMA was the airport most used by low cost airlines during the first six months of this year, handling 1.5 million passengers, an interannual increase of 12.3 percent. Palma was followed in this trend by Malaga with 1.1 million passengers (some 11 percent more), and Barcelona with 1.07 million (24.8 percent more), according to figures released yesterday by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce. By autonomous regions, Catalonia and the Balearics head the ranking with 25.1 percent and 21 percent respectively of all arrivals in Spain, although there was an outstanding growth of 38.5 percent in Madrid, which handled 500'832 passengers and 45.8 percent in Murcia where 326'389 passengers arrived during the first six months of the year. Low cost airlines made up 31.7 percent of all international flights to Spain during the first six months of the year. The low cost airlines transporting most passengers were Ryanair, Easyjet and Air Berlin.