Airlines in Spain are almost reaching the number of airline seats offered before the pandemic this summer. This is great news according to the sector. However, if the Spanish government, among others, does not intervene, the sector does not expect a full recovery until 2023.
The predicted crowds at airlines for the summer of 2022 are very close to the capacity of the summer of 2019 when people did not yet know about COVID-19. Therefore, with 212 million airline seats on offer, airlines expect to be just 0.4% below the summer 2019 level.
Effect of Russian invasion unclear
This announcement was made on Wednesday 20 April by President Javier Gándara of the Spanish Association of Airlines (ALA). Gándara does take a chance here because it is unclear how the war in Ukraine will progress. And also what effect this might have on the number of bookings in the future. However, for the time being, the effect of the war is limited to an increase in fuel prices.
‘Make flying to and from Spain more accessible’
The president of the Spanish ALA called on Wednesday to standardise health regulations for flying to and from Spain. This is especially for countries outside Europe where the health situation is comparable to the EU. Moreover, according to Gándara, there are still too many different rules for travelling to Spain. Consequently, this can discourage holidaymakers from booking at all.
He is also committed to increase staff at airport checkpoints to facilitate the flow. During Semana Santa, more than 3,000 people missed their transfer at Madrid-Barajas airport because they had to wait too long at customs, for example. If these things are put in order quickly, the recovery of the sector, which is not expected before 2023, may be accelerated.
Spanish aviation association addresses government
Finally, Gándara once again appeals to the Spanish government to exempt airlines from the costs incurred by Aena for health measures at Spanish airports. Until September 2021, the costs amounted to €150 euros to take measures against the spread of Covid-19. Airlines are already suffering enough from travel restrictions and ever-rising fuel prices, said Javier Gándara