Palma.—Spanish airport authority AENA published the passenger figures for July yesterday and while over all, Spanish airports handled less passengers last month, six did show an up turn in passenger traffic, three of those being here in the Balearics.

The figures will come as further evidence that the Balearics is the most popular destination in Spain for foreign holiday makers this summer, although hotel occupancy for August is slightly down on last year at around 80 percent.

However, a surge in late bookings is expected.
According to AENA, Palma's Son San Joan airport handled 3'435'939 passengers, one percent up on July, 2011.
Increase
Ibiza airport handled 1.7 million passengers, 0.2 percent up on the same period last year while Minorca handled 501'681 passengers, a two percent increase on July, 2011 and in keeping with the market data which has been showing that Minorca is the only Balearic island to have enjoyed an increase in package holiday makers from the United Kingdom this year.

Minorca has been showing a steady increase of four percent this summer while package holiday sales to Majorca and Ibiza have, until now, been down on last year.

But, passenger figures for the first seven months of this year are all down in comparison to 2011.
Palma has handled 12.6 million passengers, 0.3 percent fewer than during the first seven months of last year while Ibiza's 2.9 million passengers represents a decline of 0.7 percent and Minorca has handled 1.3 million passengers, 3.4 percent less than last year but most of that loss was during the first few low season months of the year when the island suffers from a severe shortage of flights.

Third busiest
But, it appears that the islands' fortunes may have turned around over the summer with Palma being the country's third busiest airport behind Barcelona and Madrid respectively.

The tourist industry now hopes that the boom in air passengers will translate into a rise in spending.

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