This Easter holiday may not be exactly the same as it was before the pandemic, but it’s very close. The good expectations of the tourism industry have been fulfilled, and the values of the sector are gaining momentum after two years of ups and downs. Neither the war in Ukraine nor inflation have finally stopped the demand for travel in Spain, which is once again taking over the top ten of air capacity between countries, according to the latest data from the consulting firm OAG.
Airlines have marked the peninsula as the El Dorado of recovery in Europe. Of the ten international air flows with the greatest programming, Spain appears in five. Specifically, it is about the connections of Spanish airports with the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy or the Netherlands. Only between Spain and these five countries the airlines operate more than ten million seats for this month. Barajas also reappears in the ranking of the ten busiest airports in the world.
Inflation in hotels and restaurants, 4.4% in March, does not stop travelers
Some airlines have even been overwhelmed by the high demand at the last minute to fly to Spain at Easter. It has happened to the German group Lufthansa, which has had to mobilize two long-haul aircraft – a Boeing 747-8 and an Airbus A350, which it uses for intercontinental flights – in order to bring all the tourists who wanted to travel from Germany to Mallorca.
With a capacity of almost 320 passengers, both aircraft began to land with full occupancies on Saturday, April 9 at the Son San Joan airport in Palma from Frankfurt and Munich. The group, which includes Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Air Dolomiti and Eurowings, has had to add five additional flights between Frankfurt and Mallorca and one from Munich, operating a total of 41 weekly flights to move all Travellers.
Operations like this have placed Palma airport as the one that has best recovered from the air crisis caused by the pandemic in Spain. The flights planned for these days are close to those of 2019, with 7,170 scheduled departures and arrivals – just 1.6% below three years ago. In Gran Canaria and Málaga-Costa del Sol, activity is also close to what it was before the pandemic these days, while El Prat has also made a great leap in activity. If in March Barcelona registered almost 22% fewer flights than in the same month of 2019, for this Holy Week Aena’s forecast is to be only 17.6% below the pre-pandemic holidays (and -19% in Barajas ).
These good data, added to the high hotel occupancy figures, made tourism values lead the Ibex rises in yesterday’s session. The Meliá hotel company led the gains with 4.64%, followed by the IAG airline group, with 3.99%. Aena rose 2.29%.
The closure of the Russian and Ukrainian markets due to the invasion led by Putin has thus had little impact on the Spanish tourism industry, as it is still a minority issuer. The increase in prices in hotels and other establishments has not discouraged demand either. This despite the fact that inflation in tourist accommodation and restaurants reached 4.4% in March. The desire to travel and the savings rate have surpassed the increase in price for now.