Spanish airlines expect a record summer season and are adding 13% more seats from a year ago, confident that consumers will continue to travel despite inflation pressuring their spending, the head of Spain's airlines industry group said. From the beginning of April to the end of October, the group has scheduled up to 758,000 flights, 9% more than in the same period in 2023 with a total capacity of up to 240 million seats.

Everything seems to indicate that we will have record numbers again this summer in terms of demand. People are travelling more than before despite inflationary tensions," Javier Gandara, head of the Spanish Airlines Association, told a news conference. Leisure travel demand, which has boomed since the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions ended, remains strong despite a squeeze on household incomes.

Airlines are increasing the number of seats available between Spain and markets such as Germany and Britain, which in the summer of 2023 were still recovering from the pandemic in the midst of rising inflation.

Services to the Canary Islands and the southern region of Andalusia, among the top Spanish destinations for summer tourism, will have 14% more seats, above the Spanish average, while the cities of Madrid and Barcelona will see 15% added compared to a year ago, Gandara said.

He pointed out that the impact of the Middle East conflict on Spain's airline industry is limited as only 0.2% of flights departing from Spain have Israel as a destination.

Regarding possible increases in the oil price due to geopolitical tensions, Gandara said that most airlines ensure a minimum fuel consumption at a given price so that any crude price fluctuations will likely have a limited impact.