Aena's 2021 passenger traffic jumps nearly 58% but still way off 2019 levels

Jan 11 (Reuters) - Spain’s airport operator Aena said on Tuesday that passenger traffic through its airports jumped nearly 58% in 2021 from the previous year but was still less than half the number seen in 2019, before the coronavirus hit.

The total number of passengers recorded in 2021 was nearly 120 million, some 43.6% of pre-pandemic levels, Aena said.

Foreign travel fared worse than national, the company data showed, with 64.3% fewer international passengers travelling than in 2019 compared with 39.2% fewer domestic travellers.

Freight volumes were less severely affected and were just 6.6% below their pre-pandemic levels, thanks in part to cargo being transported on standard passenger aircraft, the company said.

In December, Aena handled 12.7 million passengers, down 30% from the same month in 2019 but more than 200% up from December 2020. (Reporting by Marta Serafinko; Editing by Nathan Allen and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)