MADRID – Spain’s borders are open to all vaccinated travellers. As such, the government expects 40-50% of the number of foreign tourists from record year 2019 to visit to Spain this summer. Spanish airlines are even more optimistic about this.
Athough the British authorities have categorised Spain as amber, airlines are looking forward to the summer with confidence. In concrete terms, they expect to transport 21.3 million travellers again. This will mainly be between the months of June, July, and August, with a peak of 8.5 million travellers in August.
That is almost 3 times as many as in the same period last year, when 8.1 passengers were transported. But the expected 21.3 travellers still represent a 38% decrease compared to the summer before the corona pandemic. Then 34.4 million people were flown to their destinations.
Increase in Spanish airlines national demand
Furthermore, as soon England and Germany adjust their travel advice, airlines expect the recovery to be even greater. However, meanwhile, they are preparing for the summer with an expansion of domestic destinations to meet increased national demand.
For example, Air Europa announced this week it would expand its flights between the Spainish mainland and the Canary Islands. It will also start operating new routes connecting the islands of Lanzarote and Tenerife with the northern Spanish cities of Bilbao, Oviedo, and Santiago de Compostela. Also, there will be more flights from Malaga, Bilbao, Sevilla, Oviedo, and Zaragoza to the destinations Palma de Mallorca and from Mahón and Bilbao to Ibiza.
Expansion of cruises
Cruise lines are also more optimistic about the summer than the Spanish government. They expect a strong recovery in the coming months. TUI Cruises became the first cruise line to resume operations in Spain. It will start sea voyages between the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands from Friday 10 June. New routes will also be added in the next few weeks, including to the port of Malaga.
Cruise line MSC will return to operation in Spain from July 26, with a seven-day tour that starts and ends in Barcelona. It will dock in the Italian cities of Genoa, Civitavecchia, Rome, Naples, Palermo, and Malta. Additionally, a cruise ship will depart from Valencia every Saturday from 30 July. It will call at the ports of Barcelona, Genoa, Florence, Pisa, and Civitavecchia before returning to the departure city of Valencia.
Hotel chains less optimistic
The larger Spanish hotel chains such as Meliá, Barceló and Riu are more conservative in their expectations. And, as such, are not making any predictions as long as the British and German markets remain closed.