The mobility restrictions designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 reduce passenger traffic by 99.4%


13 May 2020

The state of emergency decreed by the Spanish Government on 14 March and various ministerial orders ban travel except for reasons of force majeure, residence or work

Many other countries worldwide have brought in similar restrictions

Freight traffic fell by 59.7% down to 34,675 tons carried

Aena has drawn up its Operational Recovery Plan which will conform to European and Spanish regulations to ensure the safety of passengers and workers once mobility is restored


The airports in Aena’s network closed April at 141,014 passengers, a fall of 99.4% compared to the same month last year. The figures show how the movement of people has been halted to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Out of the total number of passengers, 126,066 were commercial passengers with 72,233 on domestic flights, 99% less than in April 2019, and 53,833 on international flights, down by 99.7%.

In April, Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport had the highest number of passengers in the network at 46,743 travellers, which is a 99.1% decrease over the same month in 2019. It is followed by Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat with 25,307 (-99.4%); Gran Canaria with 15,650 (-98.6%); Tenerife Norte with 9,253 (-98.1%); and Palma de Mallorca with 8,955 (-99.6%).

As for the number of operations, a total of 12,709 aircraft movements were handled in Aena’s airport network in April, 93.5% less than in the same month last year.

The airport with the highest number of movements was Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas with a total of 2,511 (-92.8%), followed by Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat with 1,499 flights (-95%); Gran Canaria with 1,014 (-90.4%); Tenerife Norte with 879 (-85.9%); and Palma de Mallorca with 723 (-96.2%).

Freight transport

In April, 34,675 tons of freight was shipped in the network, 59.7% less than in the same month in 2019, due to the fact that a very substantial part of regular freight is carried by commercial passenger aircraft.

The four airports with the highest freight traffic were Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas with 18,041 tons (-59%); Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat with 4,924 tons (-64.7%); Zaragoza with 4,301 tons (-72.9%); and Vitoria with 4,006 tons (-19.5%).

Since the onset of the crisis, Aena has focussed the efforts of its airports on operating essential flights to ensure the arrival of medical supplies along with other goods needed to provide for the public at large, while also helping Spaniards to return and non-resident foreigners to head back to their home countries. Alongside these operations, it is also conducting other critical ones such as emergency, National Transplant Organisation and law enforcement agency flights.

Operational recovery protocols

Aena is working in conjunction with domestic and international health and transport authorities to put in place appropriate safety protocols. The company set up its Operational Recovery Group in order to pool with other players in the air transport industry and the authorities the measures needed to ensure that airports are able to resume operations safely and build confidence in passengers and workers once mobility restrictions have been removed.

These proposed measures are being coordinated with other stakeholders in the air transport industry and with the Spanish and European Union health and transport authorities.