In a report published in August 2018, Suburbia looked at passenger traffic in the Dutch air hub (Schiphol). We showed in data what airliners are not accepting in words: more of us are packed per plane as the number of passengers has tripled and the number of airplanes has doubled.

Iberian airports are experiencing a transformation in their management and future goals. The increase in flying demand is seen as the next challenge in maintaining a sustainable industry that is eco-friendly and yet still profitable.

In Schiphol we noticed that the number of passengers per flight is increasing every year. The figure below shows that top four Iberian airports are keeping their number of passengers per flight relatively constant. Barcelona’s El Prat has the lead with an average of 146 passengers per flight since June 2016.

Figure 1: Number of passengers per flight leaving or arriving  each month in four largest Spanish airports:

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From the figure above we can see that airlines pack more passengers per plane during the busy months of July and August. This becomes even clearer when we compare this data with that of Schiphol.

Figure 2: Number of passengers per flight leaving or arriving  each month

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The figure above also illustrates that overall in Spanish airports there are fewer passengers per plane packed than when compared to Dutch Schiphol. Fluctuations in this number are remarkably so close that the coefficient of correlation between the two almost as close to 0.95.

In the peak of tourists, Spanish airports pack more passengers per plane than the Netherlands. From the figure above we can notice that the top four Spanish airports take the lead only during July and August.

Yet, Schiphol is the busiest Dutch airport and the argument above sounds like comparing apples and oranges. If we were to calculate the average number of passengers per plane in the Netherlands, we would get a more reliable insight.

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