Passenger traffic in Spain to exceed 300 million in 2026

Spanish airport operator, Aena, today revealed that it expects its annual passenger numbers to exceed 300 million in 2026, one year earlier than previously projected.

The admission, has led it to revise its traffic forecasts and update its financial targets, with around 294 million passengers now expected to pass through its airports this year before 310 million are handled across its network in 2026.

Other predictions revealed by Aena today, when updating its Strategic Plan for 2022-2026, include:

• The prospects for the 2024 summer season look good with around 7% higher schedule than in 2023

• Aena will handle over one million passengers a day worldwide in 2026

• The EBITDA margin in 2026 will remain at around 59%, and its 80% pay-out will remain one of the highest in the sector.

IBERIA

Aena chairman, Maurici Lucena, noted that “surpassing the targets initially set is not only a consequence of a better economic situation, but also of a successful strategy”.

According to Aena, the “good prospects for the summer season in 2024, with around 7% higher schedule than in 2023”, support this optimism.

It says: “This strong upturn in traffic, which is more pronounced at tourist airports, will require more investment in infrastructure in order to synchronise capacity with expected demand and also to bring airports into line with new safety requirements and maintain service quality.

“Therefore, in DORA III, which will run from 2027 to 2031, Aena will propose investments that will at least double those made over recent years.

“Aena is currently starting to analyse the needs of all Spanish airports in order to design the investment proposal to be presented to the airlines in 2026.”

Zero emission airports ten years ahead of schedule

Aena also pledges that the increase in activity will be balanced with the intense reduction in emissions by its airports.

Aena, in its Climate Action Plan, already brought forward by ten years achievement of net zero emissions with respect to the global commitment of the sector set in 2050, but now the airport operator is even more ambitious.

“Aena’s commitment to sustainability is non-negotiable and is a transversal factor in our strategic framework, as evidenced by the fact that every year we report to the Shareholders’ Meeting on our Climate Action Plan,” noted Lucena.

Another target along the path to decarbonisation is for a total of 19 airports in the Spanish network to have ACA (Airport Carbon Accreditation) level 4+ certifications by 2026, rising to level 5 in 2030.

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