Spain has seen a 60% drop in air traffic by 2020.

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Spain, the second largest airline in Europe, saw a 60% drop in air traffic compared to 2019 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic - as reported by Enaire, the Spanish air traffic service provider.

Attempts are being made to recover the aviation industry in Spain.

However, during the year, operational safety, prevention and service guarantee were strengthened at Spanish airports. Enaire also reduced taxes in 2021, in an attempt to recover the heavily affected aviation sector.

In 2020, the Enaire air traffic control team managed 851.520 flights, 60,4% less than in 2019.

Specifically, during 2020, the air traffic control team Enaire managed 851.520 flights, 60,4% less than in 2019. Domestically, 233.502 flights were managed, a decrease of 46,2%, while international operations amounted to 430.099 flights, a decrease of 65,6%. The overflights (which do not have their origin or destination in a Spanish airport) reached 187.919 flights, 59,6% less compared to 2019.

All ENAIRE control centers recorded traffic decreases in 2020, with the Canary Islands, Seville and Madrid registering the smallest decreases, compared to the Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca area.


The biggest drop was in December.

The largest decrease was recorded in December, when only 55.955 flights were managed, a decrease of 62,4% than in the same month of the previous year. There were 23.715 international flights (a decrease of 70,8%), 18.730 domestic flights (a decrease of 44%) and only 18.730 aircraft flew over Spanish airspace (a decrease of 60,6%).

 TOTALVs. 2020 2019International flightsVs. 2020 2019Domestic flightsVs. 2020 2019
Red ENAIRE851.520-60.4%430.099-65.6%233.502-46.2%
CC Madrid475.916-59.9%227. 257-63.2%99.670-51.6 '%
FC Barcelona356.280-63.8%222.778-67.9%93.608-48.8%
CC Sevilla184.449-56.8%78.806-61.9%63.969-44.5%
CC Canary Islands172.511-51.8%67.795-59.8%87.975-41.3%
CC Palma122.708-62.0%65.614-70.7%56.754-46.8%

New tax cuts in 2021

Enaire announced that this year it has "drastically" reduced taxes to help the recovery of the collapsing aviation industry.

Taxes for the peninsula have been reduced from 51.08 euros in 2020 to 45.44 euros in 2021, a decrease of 11%. Similarly, taxes in the Canary Islands - which had previously been reduced and which are lower than in the Iberian Peninsula - were reduced from 43.73 euros to 40 euros, a reduction of 8,5%.

These reductions are in addition to those applied in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Since 2017, Spain has reduced prices for mainland routes by 36.7% - in the Iberian Peninsula, and by 31.6% - in the Canary Islands.

Tax2018 201920202021
The Iberian Peninsula69.67 (-3%)61.63 (-12%)51.08 (-16.7%)45.44 (-11%)
Canary Islands56.74 (-3%)49.96 (-12%)43.73 (-12.5%)40 (-11%)

Enaire has drawn up an industry recovery plan.

Enaire has drawn up a recovery plan for aviation services, based on forecasts received from Eurocontrol. In cooperation, Eurocontrol and Enaire are working to harmonize the operational criteria for the recovery of pre-pandemic flight levels, also taking into account the criteria for preventing health and continuity of services.

This plan allows the recovery of the air traffic control operation in an organized manner, depending on the expected demand and certain criteria that allow the efficient use of available resources.

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