Ryanair, EasyJet and Air Berlin give Spain a boost

MORE than half of the 7.4 million foreigners who flew to Spain in August used a budget airline. Ryanair, EasyJet and Air Berlin accounted for 54.2 per cent of used low cost airlines (LCA) arrivals to Spain.

And 7 out of 10 LCA passengers were from Britain, Germany or Italy, Ministry of Tourism figures show.

In August the number of British travellers using a LCA increased by 7.9 per cent year-on-year, ahead of Germany’s 2.4 per cent; but below Italy’s 13.1 per cent rise.

The increase in number of French passengers was the biggest rise with 25.6 per cent. But by destination, the Canary Islands – with 20 per cent more – was the Spanish region which saw the biggest monthly rise. 

The Canaries was followed by the Balearics (11.1 per cent) and the Valencia Region (7.9 per cent) respectively.

Forty three million foreign people arrived at Spanish airports in the first eight months of 2011, 11.7 per cent more than the same period of 2010. 

Of these 25 million (57.3 per cent) used a LCA, a 14.4 per cent yearly rise.

Again, the Canaries led the way with 4 million foreign tourists year-to-date, 27.5 per cent more than the same eight months of 2010.

This is thought to be due to unrest in Tunisia and Egypt at the beginning of 2011 leading to a flood of holiday cancellations in favour of the islands, which enjoy a milder winter than mainland Spain and the Balearics.

By John Jackson

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