What are the busiest domestic air routes in Spain?

Today we are going to take a look at the busiest domestic air routes in Spain and have some information that might surprise you. Spain is deceptively large from east to west, stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean and north to south from France to Gibraltar.



It is the largest country in Southern Europe and the second largest country in the European Union. In addition to occupying the Iberian Peninsula, Spain also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Spain has a population of over 47.4 million, with its two largest cities being the capital Madrid and the Catalan city of Barcelona.

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3 Spain has an extensive high-speed rail network

While many countries around the world rely on national air routes to get around, Spain has, since 1992, built an extensive network of high-speed rail lines that allow trains to link cities at almost 200 mph . In many cases, a train will get you from city center to city center faster than flying.

2 Flying can be cheaper

Where flying has the edge is price, with Ryanair easily the cheapest, followed by Vueling, Air Europa and Volotea. Iberia Express and Air Nostrum, based at Valencia Airport, focus their attention on connecting flights to and from smaller Spanish cities to Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) and Josep Tarradellas Airport in Barcelona -El Prat (BCN). Of the airports in Spain, Madrid is the busiest, followed by Barcelona, ​​then Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI), Malaga Costa del Sol Airport (AGP) and Alicante Airport -Elche (ALC).

Madrid-Palma de Mallorca

With no train connection, Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) to Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI) is the busiest domestic air route in Spain. In 2021, 1,140,759 people traveled between the Spanish capital and the vacation island.

Madrid-Barcelona

Vueling is owned by IAG and based in Barcelona. Photo: Getty Images.

Because train prices between Barcelona and Madrid are comparable to flying and the train is a little faster, this route – once the busiest domestic air route in Spain – now takes second place. In 2021, 1,013,020 people traveled by plane between the two cities.

Madrid-Gran Canaria

Again, with no rail or road connection, Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) to Gran Canaria Airport (LPA) is the third busiest domestic route. In 2021, 937,084 people traveled between Madrid and Las Palmas.

Madrid-Tenerife (North)

Like Gran Canaria, the Canary Island of Tenerife depends on air traffic. Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) to Tenerife North-Ciudad de La Laguna Airport (TFN) is the fourth busiest domestic air route in Spain. In 2021, 875,428 people traveled between the Spanish capital and Tenerife Norte.

Madrid-Ibiza

The party island of Ibiza ranks fifth on our list along with Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) to Ibiza Airport (IBZ) with 610,232 passengers in 2021.

1 Where the plane is better than the train

Ryanair offers the cheapest fares in Spain. Photo: Getty Images

Although it is often better to travel between major Spanish cities by train than to fly on the following routes, it is much quicker to fly, with most flights taking around an hour:

  • Barcelona to Bilbao with Vueling instead of 6.5 hours by train

  • Madrid to Santiago de Compostela with Ryanair against seven hours by train

  • Seville to Barcelona with Ryanair instead of 5.5 hours by train

  • Bilbao to Malaga With Vueling and Air Europa as there is a train service between the two

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