Take-off from Palma airport. | Youtube: Moss Travel Media

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Airlines expect traffic at Spanish airports this summer to be slightly above pre-pandemic levels although the war in Ukraine and more expensive jet fuel could affect the recovery, Spanish airport operator Aena said on Wednesday.

Carriers have booked capacity for 216 million passengers during the summer, 1.6% more than during summer 2019 before the pandemic hit, Aena said in a statement on its website.

A company source said last month passengers numbers could hit 220 million during the summer.

The pandemic devastated Spain’s crucial air industry, with tourism accounting for about 12% of the country’s economy before the pandemic.

“General data for the 2022 summer is positive, but the degree of uncertainty is still high due to factors such as the pandemic evolution, the conflict in Ukraine and fuel price increase,” Aena said.

About 1% of the booked traffic is on flights connecting Spain with Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Traffic at the country’s two largest airports in Madrid and Barcelona will still be below pre-pandemic levels respectively at 95% and 90% of 2019, while expected traffic in the Canary and Balearic Islands is higher.