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Palma is Europe’s 11th busiest airport this summer; Ryanair top carrier; United has sole long-haul route

United Airlines Palma launch

The tourist mecca of Palma de Mallorca welcomed 31.1 million passengers last year, meaning it was comfortably Spain’s third-busiest airport. Traffic was nearly 5% higher than in 2019, double the recovery of the country generally. Gaining its first transatlantic service – United Airlines from Newark – in 2022 helped.

Palma was Europe’s 15th busiest airport in the full year 2023. But as the all-important peak Q3 (July-September) 2024 approaches, it will be the continent’s 11th busiest airport by available seats, fairly marginally behind Munich.

Palma passenger figures 2006-2023

Ryanair is Palma’s leading operator

Analysing Cirium schedules data shows that the ULCC has one in four of Palma’s available seats in Q3. Ryanair first flew to Mallorca in 2007, initially from Liverpool. Routes from Frankfurt HHN, London STN, and Pisa quickly followed, all of which remain served by the airline 17 years later. Its first domestic flights from Palma began in 2008.

Ryanair opened its Palma base in 2012, the same year that Vueling did the same. Base openings by Eurowings and easyJet followed in 2017. The quartet are Palma’s top four carriers and together have 56% of the airport’s peak summer 2024 capacity.

Palma is now Ryanair’s fourth most-served airport out of 233 in its network in Q3. It is Vueling’s third-busiest, Eurowings’ second and easyJet’s 12th. Ryanair has 85 Palma routes to 23 countries. Germany – always Palma’s leading market – is number one, then domestic Spain.

Top 10 Palma airlines Q3 2024

Dublin Airport

airberlin was once the number-one airline

Palma was previously dominated by airberlin, which had almost a quarter of the capacity in 2014, which is what Ryanair has now. airberlin had a base at the airport with four aircraft.

Between 2014 and 2016, the German airline served 31 destinations on a scheduled basis from Mallorca. They included 18 airports in Germany, nine in Spain, two in Switzerland and one in both Denmark and Portugal. When extended to 2004-2016, 55 destinations were served. It was a significant carrier.

Palma airline market share Q3 2014-2024

172+ non-stop scheduled destinations

Cirium shows that Palma’s Q3 network comprises more than 172 scheduled destinations. All are in Europe except Algiers (Air Algerie; 2-weekly in July), Fez (Ryanair; 2), Marrakech (Ryanair; 2), Nador (Air Arabia Maroc; 2) and Newark (United Airlines; 3).

Using Cirium to compare Q3 2024 with 2023 shows that Algiers, Belfast BHD, Cordoba, Erfurt, Harstad/Narvik, Kosice, Montpellier, Maastricht, Rostock, Stockholm NYO, Tampere, Växjö and Zagreb have joined its scheduled network. However, Ostrava, Pardubice, Pamplona, Tangier and even Venice VCE are no longer served.

The 200-kilometre link to Barcelona remains Palma’s top destination, although capacity has not changed year-on-year. It has 159-weekly flights in July by Vueling (85), Ryanair (39) and Air Europa (35). It is Ryanair’s sixth most-served airport pair network-wide and the number one in Spain.

Top 10 Palma destinations Q3 2024

Billund Airport