British Travellers Head The Record-Breaking Numbers Using Portugal’s Airports in 2023

Image of aircraft on the runway. 

Image of aircraft on the runway.  Image: Wichudapa/

THE number of passengers using Portugal’s airports nationally has increased by 12.5 per cent year-on-year.

According to the latest data published this Thursday, September 14, by the National Statistics Institute (INE), the month of July broke all existing records for air passengers disembarking in the country.

‘Since the beginning of 2023, there have been historic highs in monthly passenger numbers at national airports’, the INE stated.

It detailed that there was an average daily arrival of 117,200 passengers in July. This was higher than the 104,300 recorded in the corresponding month of 2022, a rise of 12.4 per cent.

The figure was also 11.1 per cent higher than the 105,000 that were registered in July 2019, the year before the pandemic. This is the: ‘ highest average daily value high since records began’, the INE pointed out.

According to the ‘Quick Air Transport Statistics’, a total of seven million passengers and 18.7 thousand tons of cargo and mail moved through Portugal’s national airports in the month of July.

Those data correspond to variations of a 12.5 per cent increase ​​and a drop of 5. 7 per cent, respectively, compared to July 2022. Compared to July 2019, there were increases of 10.8 per cent and 1.5 per cent, in the same order.

In the accumulated period from January to July 2023, the number of passengers increased by 25.2 per cent compared to last year, while the movement of cargo and mail registered a decrease of 1.6 per cent. There were respective increases of 11.8 per cent and 8.2 per cent on the corresponding period in 2019.

International traffic was the busiest

A total of three million people, mainly from Europe, accounted for 81.7 per cent of passengers disembarking at national airports in July. They formed 69 per cent of the overall total, generating an increase of 13 per cent on 2022.

With 8.6 per cent of the total, the American continent provided the second highest number of international traffic, again a rise of 9.1 per cent on last year.

The main destinations for those departing from Portuguese airports were on the European continent. A total of 2.7 million international passengers flew out of the country’s facilities, representing 66.1 of the total. This showed a ride of 13.7 on July 2022.

Airports on the American continent were the second main destination for embarked passengers, accounting for 9.8 per cent of the total, another increase of 13.6 on last year.

Lisbon Airport handled the most passengers

Lisbon Airport handled 19.1 million passengers between January and July, which equates to around 50 per cent of the 38,274,000 who used the country’s airports. That is a rise of 27.1 per cent on 2022, and 8 per cent compared to 2019.

Another 22.4 per cent of the total used Porto Airport, a rise of 25.7 per cent compared to 2022 and 15.2 per cent on 2019.

Meanwhile, Faro Airport, located in the Algarve region, registered a growth of 19.2 per cent, a rise of 5.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.

British passengers had the highest numbers

British travellers represented the country providing the largest number of international passengers flying in and out of Portugal in the first seven months of 2023.

Compared to 2022, this market saw an increase of 20.8 per cent in passengers disembarking, and 22.4 per cent in those boarding.

France occupied second position, with increases of 21.6 per cent and 22.2 per cent respectively. Spanish travellers represented a significant rise in traffic compared to the same period in 2022. Their numbers rose by 42.6 per cent as country of origin and 42.8 per cent as a destination country.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at