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Aena Incentives Plan Could Boost Airline Services at Corvera Airport Murcia

Regional airports including Corvera Airport Murcia will benefit from an incentives plan for airlines announced by Aena. The initiative, which includes passenger fee exemptions, could encourage airlines to increase, or at least consolidate, their operations at the smaller airports in Spain: i.e. fewer than three million passengers in 2023. (Total passenger traffic at Corvera Airport Murcia last year was 877,796.)

According to the airport operator, between 2015 and 2023 Aena’s tariffs have decreased nominally by 11 per cent while, during that same period, inflation has been 21 per cent. “In real terms, these tariffs have fallen by 32 per cent in the 2015-2023 period.

“Aena’s airports will continue to be the most competitive in Europe, with an average total tariff throughout the network of around €10 per passenger, but with differentiated levels depending on the type of airport.”

The incentives package covers a total of 32 airports and heliports with fewer than three million passengers in 2023. Airlines will be exempted from paying the passenger fee for all additional travellers over and above their 2023 totals, for three consecutive years. The airlines will also benefit from a €45 million subsidy from the Spanish government to cover part of the expenses incurred during the COVID pandemic.

“In accordance with Spain’s regulatory framework (which is similar to that of other advanced countries), Aena’s tariff system, together with commercial revenues, allows it to make the necessary investments to provide airports with all safety and quality guarantees.” For the period 2022-2026, Aena says it will invest €3,000 million in these infrastructures. Aena is self-financing and, therefore, does not receive income from the national state budget.

“This competitiveness in Aena’s airport tariffs is one of the factors that makes Spain the country with the most operations in Europe, according to Eurocontrol data. In 2023, the Aena network served a record number of passengers and, according to preliminary data for the summer season (March to October 2024), airlines are planning a new record number of seats in Spain.”

Aena network airports in Spain serviced 283.2 million passengers in 2023, a 16.2 per cent higher total than in 2022 and 2.9 per cent more than in 2019, when 275.2 million passengers were recorded – the previous all-time record before the pandemic.

La Manga photo supplied by Murcia Regional Ministry of Tourism

Increased Numbers of Foreign Tourists in Murcia

The regional ministry of tourism has released its finalised annual report showing that a total of 992,514 foreign tourists travelled to the region during 2023. This figure was 20.9 per cent higher than in 2022 and also above the average growth of international tourism in Spain (18.7 per cent), according to data from the National Statistics Institute (INE).

The highest number of foreign tourists came from the United Kingdom (298,993), representing an increase of 17.6 per cent over 2022 and 30.1 per cent of the total.

France was the second largest market (192,522 tourists and an increase of 25.1 per cent compared with 2022), followed by Belgium (93,328 tourists and 123.1 per cent increase), Nordic countries (80,465 and 55.4 per cent) and Germany (57,463 and 13.7 per cent).

The ministry also reported record figures for tourist accommodation in the region. Hotel and other “extra-hotel” establishments registered 1,775,251 guests (5.5 percent more than the previous year), while overnight stays increased by six percent to 5,502,361.

Corvera Airport Murcia photo supplied by Aena

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