In terms of tourism, Spain is the world’s 4th most popular holiday destination. In the first quarter of 2012 the number of tourists being welcomed at Spanish resorts had risen by 7.5% on the same period in 2011. Spanish airports offer not just excellent flight connections and services, they are a gateway into one of Europe’s most fascinating countries.
Barcelona El Prat Airport (IATA: BCN) serves the Catalonia region, covering the municipalities of El Prat de Llobgerat, Sant Bloi and Viladecans. Barcelona Airport is the country’s second largest airport after Madrid. Barcelona is a wonderful destination for a city break and has a wealth of cultural tourist attractions to offer. From the stunning architecture of Antonio Gaudi to the eccentric art of Salvador Dali and the masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, art lovers will adore the city. Blessed with some of Europe’s best water-, theme- and amusement parks, Barcelona is a child-friendly city for families to enjoy together. The city’s great shopping and nightlife make Barcelona a favourite with next generation travellers, too!
Ibiza Airport (IATA: IBZ) is the principle gateway for the Balearic Island of Ibiza, Europe’s favourite party resort. Located just 7 km / 4.3 miles from Ibiza Town, where nightclubs, bars and restaurants provide a vibrant nightlife, Ibiza’s airport also serves as a gateway for the neighbouring island of Formentera, a much quieter island resort for families and older travellers. Being mainly busy during the months May to October, when the holiday season brings thousands of holidaymakers to the two islands, Ibiza Airport offers some flight routes only on a seasonal basis, but is well connected to European cities and domestic destinations via flights to Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Palma de Mallorca.
Madrid –Barajas Airport (IATA: MAD) is Spain’s busiest and largest airport, serving some 50 million passengers every year. The Spanish capital is not just a favourite with international tourists, domestic tourism and business travel account for a large proportion of visitors, too. Madrid Airport is located within the city limits, a mere 9 km / 5.6 miles distance from the financial district and just over 13 km / 8 miles from the beautiful Old Town, the Puerta del Sol district, where most of the city’s historic monuments can be found. With 4 terminals and a “Best Airport” award (2008, Condé Nast) under its belt, Madrid’s gateway offers mainly European destinations, but there are also intercontinental flight routes to the USA available.
Malaga Costa del Sol Airport (IATA: AGP) or Pablo Ruiz Picasso Airport as it is locally known, is the principle airport for travel to the Costa del Sol and the beach resorts of Malaga and Torremolinos. Being just a 8 km / 5 mile distance from Malaga and a 5 km / 3 m distance from Torremolinos, Malaga Airport’s close proximity to the resorts makes it a favourite with sun-seekers. The three terminals offer a huge number of international flight routes to 60 countries worldwide. Domestic destinations include some 20 cities in Spain and flights to the Middle East, North America and to Africa are also available during the summer holiday season. Served by a large number of budget airlines, Malaga has a year-round influx of holidaymakers.
Palma de Mallorca Airport (IATA: PMI) serves as the principle airport for the Balearic Island of Mallorca. Locally referred to as the Son Sant Joan Airport, Mallorca Airport is the third largest airport in the country and during the months of June, July and August, it is one of Europe’s busiest aviation hubs. At present the airport can handle up to 12,000 passengers per hour and plans to increase the airport’s capacity to 38 million passengers per annum are well on the way to be completed by 2015. The 22.7 passengers passing through its gates in 2011 were mainly tourists and expats living on the island either all year round or for part of the year. A number of charter and budget airlines offer flight routes mainly to domestic destinations, Germany and the UK, but France and Scandinavia are also served with regular flights.
Mahon Menorca Airport (IATA: MAH) serves the beautiful Balearic Island of Menorca. Being located just 4.5 km / 2.8 miles from the island’s capital Mahon, the airport handled nearly 2.6 million passengers in 2011. Offering seasonal charter and year-round flight routes to various European cities and a considerable number of Spanish destinations, Menorca Airport sees its busiest time during the months May to October, when holidaymakers flock to the island’s sandy beaches and discover the family friendly resorts at Menorca’s Mediterranean coast. There’s just one main terminal building, but with 16 gates to handle passengers more quickly and to provide efficient services.
San Pablo Seville Airport (IATA: SVQ) is the principle airport serving the south of Spain and the Andalucía region, in particular the city of Seville, a popular tourist destination. Other favourites like Malaga, Jerez, Huelva and Cadiz can easily be reached with excellent motorway connections. Portugal is a relatively short drive away and Seville has also a direct motorway link to Spain’s capital Madrid. Seville Airport is a hub for low-cost carriers Ryanair and Vueling, but also offers flight connections via Easyjet, Air Berlin and Air Europa and Air France among others. Air Nostrum and Iberia Express take care of domestic destinations. Seville is a city with many tourist attractions, from amusement and water parks for families to a historic Old Town with ancient monuments for fans of antiquity. Famous for its vibrant nightlife, delicious food and great cultural array, Seville will appeal to travellers of all ages.
With tourists clearly favouring Spain over many other destinations, the country’s airports have already undergone some considerable improvements; more expansions and refurbishments are planned over the next 3 years. Offering great transport links by rail, car rental and via airport buses, Spain’s airport management Aena strives to take the stress out of air travel and hopes a visit to their wonderful country will be an unforgettable experience for all the right reasons.