Relevant figures

Spain has the third largest volume of air traffic in Europe.

Significant magnitudes of Aena airports

Spain’s 46 airports and 2 heliports within the Aena network in 2017 recorded 249.2 million passengers, representing a 8.2% increase compared to the previous year. Of those passengers, 175.3 million flew internationally, a historical record, with a 8.4% increase on 2016. Passengers on domestic flights amounted to over 73.1 million, a 8.1% increase on the previous year.

The volume of aircraft operations was greater than 2.1 million, a 6.3% increase on 2016 and cargo traffic amounted to over 918,305 tonnes, a 15% increase compared to the previous year.

passengers, operations and cargo traffic 2016-2017

Spain has the third largest volume of air traffic in Europe, after the UK and Germany1. It totals 12% of Europe's passenger traffic and 11% of its aircraft operations2.

The Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport ranks 5th in the EU in terms of passengers, while Barcelona airport ranks 6th in passenger traffic.

Rank Airport Millions of passengers
1 London-Heathrow 78.0
2 Paris-Charles de Gaulle 69.5
3 Amsterdam-Schiphol 68.5
4 Frankfurt 64.5
5 Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas 53.4
6 Barcelona-El Prat 47,7
7 London-Gatwick 45.6
8 Munich 44.6
9 Rome-Fiumicino 41.0
10 Paris-Orly 32.0
Source: Data provided by the companies

A further five Spanish airports registered traffic of over 10 million passengers in 2017: Palma de Mallorca, with over 27.9 million; Málaga-Costa del Sol, with 18.6 million; Alicante-Elche, with over 13.7 million; Gran Canaria, with over 13 million; and Tenerife Sur with over 11.2 million.


70.5% of commercial traffic in all airports in the Aena network is international, and the remaining 29.5% is national. The main source countries of air travel passengers to Spain are the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, the Nordic countries, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, the United States, Ireland and Russia3.

Share of the major air hubs

Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona-El Prat airports make up 40.4% of passengers, 32.7% of operations and 68.3% of cargo. Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas contributes 21.4% of total passengers, 17.8% of the aircraft and 51.3% of the cargo, while Barcelona-El-Prat has a market share of 19% of passengers, 14.9% of operations and 17% of cargo.

1 Source: Eurostat.
2 Source: 2017 ACI Europe.
3 Source: INE. Tourist Movement on Borders.