Malaga Airport Hits New Heights With 20 Million Passengers Per Year

Malaga: Fastest Growing Airport In Spain

Ryanair Plane at Malaga Airport. Credit: Konwicki Marcin/

LATEST figures just in reaffirm Malaga as the fastest growing airport in Spain.

On Friday, Spanish Airports and Air Navigation (Aena) unveiled September’s impressive figures for Malaga-Costa del Sol International Airport. This year, the airport is on track to break its own record, with projections suggesting it will welcome over 20 million passengers, writes El Español.

Malaga’s Rapid Growth

In September alone, 2.2 million passengers used Malaga Airport, marking a 20 per cent rise from the previous year and an 11.9 per cent increase from September 2019. Aena still uses 2019 as a benchmark, given it was a peak year before the pandemic’s onset.

Malaga now firmly stands as Spain’s fourth busiest airport, trailing only Madrid, Barcelona, and Palma de Mallorca. Notably, if one considers Mallorca’s island status, which limits access to flights and boats, Malaga ranks as the third busiest on the mainland.

Comparing Other Airports

While Malaga’s numbers are climbing, other airports aren’t faring quite as well. In September, Madrid’s Barajas saw a 3.3 per cent dip in passengers, and Barcelona’s El Prat experienced a 10.1 per cent decline compared to September 2019. In contrast, Palma saw a 2.6 per cent rise, while Alicante-Elche reported a modest 0.7 per cent increase.

From January to September, Malaga airport reported 17.1 million passengers, a growth of 21 per cent from 2022 and 9.6 per cent more than the same period in 2019. In comparison, Madrid saw a 3.5 per cent decrease, Barcelona a 7.6 per cent drop, Mallorca a 3.4 per cent rise, and Alicante a 2 per cent increase.

Potential Challenges Ahead

If the final three months of 2023 remain stable, Malaga will easily surpass the 20 million passenger mark. This milestone was nearly reached in 2019 and was anticipated in 2020 before the pandemic disrupted plans. However, global events, such as the conflicts in Ukraine and Israel and threats from Hamas, could impact tourism, though no effects are evident yet.

Dominant Airlines And Destinations

Ryanair remains the dominant airline at Malaga, a position it has held for over a decade. From January to September, nearly 4.98 million passengers travelled with Ryanair to or from Malaga, making up 30 per cent of the airport’s total traffic.

Following Ryanair, Vueling transported 2.1 million passengers, Easyjet 932,000, and 714,000. In terms of destinations, London’s Gatwick led with 871,000 passengers, followed by Barcelona (688,000), Dublin (621,000), Amsterdam (576,000), and Madrid (540,000).

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

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.