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Discover Spain! Air Travel Is The Fastest Way

In Spain air travel and the airport network are managed by AENA (Aeropuertos Nacionales y Navegacion Aerea). It is a state owned company controlled by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (Ministerio de Fomento). AENA has a great website, available both in Spanish and English (go to the upper right hand corner to change the language). It’s definitely the best way to check flight departures and arrivals, every airport map and what to do if your luggage has been lost.


Domestic Airlines In Spain

There are several airlines that operate flights within Spain. Air travel routes are sometimes operated by more than one airline carrier, which is good news as competition always lowers costs! In other words, you’ll have the chance to get a better fare. You can check which airline flies from A to B using this tool.

Iberia (IB) – It is the oldest and more important Spanish airline. And it is also a member of the OneWorld Alliance It covers almost all of the Spanish territory, flying to approximately 40 destinations. However, their fares are not always cheap. With the arrival of low cost carriers to the market, Iberia created its own low cost company a few years ago (Vueling). Except for the rates, it’s my favorite airline to travel around. The flights are generally on time, especially when departing from medium-small airports. The crew is nice and the seats are quite comfortable. You’ll also appreciate that it has some priorities compared to others (fingers linking the plane to the terminal, better slots to take off in case of delay). One more thing, no snacks or beverages are offered and the prices on the menu are insanely high.

Air Europa (UX) – It’s the 3rd largest airline in Spain, after Iberia and Vueling. Member of the SkyTeam Alliance, it offers flights to 20 destinations. It is part of one of the biggest tourism groups in Spain, Globalia, and it also provides hotel reservations, car rental and holiday packages. Air Europa is mainly focused on flying from/to medium-small airports. However, the crew has trouble speaking English and there is clearly not enough room for your legs (I’m only 1m63 or 5’3ft).


Low Cost Carriers Operating In Spain

Fortunately, the opening up of the air travel market has allowed the entrance of low cost carriers in Spain. Air travel in this case means great fares and a chance to travel on a low budget. However, expect to receive nothing in exchange: you won’t have a designated seat (first-come, first-serve basis!) and you won’t have snacks or beverages (not even a glass of water). On top of it, almost everything is considered an extra and you’ll have to pay for it (at a very high price). And when I say almost everything I mean basic things such as

  • Printing your boarding card at home/work. Ryanair, for example, will charge you a fortune to do for you it at the airport
  • Checking in your luggage
  • Exceeding the size and weight of your hand bag
  • No refund if there is a change in the time and/or date of the flight. You’ll get some wonderful travel credit!

Vueling (VY) – It is a subsidiary of Iberia and was created to compete against EasyJet and Ryanair. Vueling offers flights to 24 destinations in Spain.

EasyJet (U2) – It is a British company that flies to 20 domestic destinations.

Ryanair (FR) – It is an Irish company and the biggest low cost carrier in Spain and Europe. It travels to 20+ destinations. There are also lots of offers to get cheap air flights to Spain as more than 30 low cost companies fly to or from here!