As feared, Palma airport handled one million less passengers during the first eight month of this year, nearly 75 per cent being German tourists. Last month, 8.188 less passengers than in August 2001, flew in to Palma, a reduction of 0.31 per cent, a vast improvement however on the third of a million less or 21.26 per cent slump in passengers in April and the 12.40 per cent crash in January while in February, Palma airport passengers figures fell by just under ten per cent in comparison to February last year. Passengers figures for May, June and July balanced out at around 7.5 per cent down on last year while the only increase in passengers was witnessed in March when figures rose by 2.43 per cent. Ironically, the overall January to August figures for Spanish airports show a 0.8 per cent increase, equivalent to the one million passengers Palma has lost this year. Malaga airport for example, last month experienced a 65.8 per cent rise in passenger traffic. The British market is still proving to be the foundation of the Majorcan tourist industry this year, 58.332 more Britons flew into Palma last month than in August last year and over the past six months, despite a decline in numbers in January, February, May and July, the number of British passengers, total of 3.243.124, is up by 1.20 per cent on the first months of 2001. The market which has failed to react, despite mid-summer assurances from tourism chiefs and tour operators, is Germany. During the first eight months of the year, 771.963 less Germans have flown into Palma, and it is not as if they are coming by ferry instead. In April alone, passengers figures were down by an alarming 36 per cent on April last year, equivalent to a quarter of a million people. Last month's drop was 6.87 per cent, nominal in comparison to the 18.83 per cent slump in January, 17 per cent decreases in June and July. So far this year, the number of Germans passengers is down by 15.37 per cent. The domestic Spanish market, one of the few the Balearics was hoping would help fill the German void, along with the new “developing” markets, is down by 4.70 per cent compared to the first six months of last year. Only last month did the Spanish market show some form of positive reaction to Majorca, airport figures rose by 0.16 per cent. The Irish market has performed relatively well, up 4.54 per cent on the year along with a 14 per cent increase in Italians, but the French are down 8.40 per cent. There have been 16.78 per cent less Swedes, 17 per cent less Swiss, five per cent fewer Dutch, 14.31 per cent less Belgians, a ten per cent gap in the Danish market, a two per cent slip in Norwegians, 20 per cent slump in the Austrian market and a four per cent drop in passengers from Portugal. There has however also been a rise of 2.02 per cent in the number of people flying in from Luxembourg.

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