The announcement was made at the World ATM (Air Traffic Management) Congress in Madrid. | Emilio Naranjo

The tax paid by airlines for air navigation in Spain is to be reduced by 12% next year. This is the payment for control towers and for use of Spanish airspace, and the cut is three times what had been planned for 2019.

The tax is coming down by three per cent this year and a further reduction of five per cent in 2020 is at present unaltered. The overall effect is that Enaire, the company in charge of air navigation, will be able to set taxes that are among the lowest and most competitive in Europe.

The national minister of development, Iñigo de la Serna, announced the reduction on Tuesday, saying that it has been made because of the "excellent development in air traffic" and Enaire's greater efficiency. The benefits are therefore being passed on to airports, airlines and passengers.

The ministry expects airlines to reflect the reduction in ticket prices. Its calculations are that airlines will make savings totalling 330 million euros up to 2020. Air Europa is one airline which says that it will be cutting prices.

Xavier Ramis, the director-general of ports and airports in the Balearics, has welcomed the announcement, but considers that it is a measure that benefits airlines. He is reiterating the demand for an increase in the residents' flight discount to 75% and the elimination of passenger air taxes.