In 2010 Granada Airport suffered the greatest percentage fall in the number of passengers since 1981, thanks largely to Ryanair discontinuing its flights on four routes – to London, Liverpool, Madrid, and Gerona. This followed the low-cost airline’s failure to blackmail Granada into paying greater subsidies for the privilege of hosting its cheap flights.

The number of passengers using Granada Airport was 978,107, 17.7% down on the 1,187,813 travellers in 2009. This loss of 209,706 passengers followed the 234,201 loss in 2009 compared to 2008 (16.5% down) and the loss of 45,611 customers from 2007 to 2008 (3.1% down). In other words, since the balmy days of 2007 Granada Airport has lost almost half a million passengers (489,518) and you have to go back to 2005 to find the last time fewer than a million travellers passed through the Airport in the course of a year.

Last year’s 17.7% percentage fall in the number of passengers was last exceeded, as we said, in 1981, but then the fall was only 36,214 from 186.165 to 149.951 (19,4%).

In 2007 Granada had risen to 21st busiest airport in Spain. Since then it has fallen year by year to position 25 in 2010.

Granada falls from 3rd to 4th place among Andalusian Airports, behind Malaga, Sevilla, and now Jerez de la Frontera, all of which enjoyed modest growth last year, in line with national trends.

Source: Camara Granada – AEFI

Ryanair attempted to replace Granada as one of its low-cost destinations with Ciudad Real. Spain’s ‘biggest private airport’ greeted its first Ryanair flight at the end of May, shortly after it had pulled out of Granada. The airport was ‘optimistic’ that the notoriously mean airline would add ‘at least two further destinations in the near future’. But in fact it cancelled the route Ciudad Real – London Stansted in November, leaving the international private airport with just one route, to Paris.