Palma's Son Sant Joan airport registered a 12 per cent increase in passenger numbers in December, adding some cheer to a year which saw 1.4 million less passenger fly in and out of Majorca. Palma handled 634'746 passengers in December, 12 per cent more than December, 2001 and Son Sant Joan also reported a marked increase in air traffic: the control tower handled 8'365 flights, with Palma airport being the third busiest airport in Spain last December behind Madrid and Barcelona. On the whole, Spanish airports were much busier than in December 2001 with a national increase in passengers of 7.4 per cent. Air traffic was also up, the number of domestic flights was 8.5 per cent up on the previous year and international flights, which in December 2001 were suffering from the fall out from September 11, up by 11.4 per cent. Nevertheless, in Palma, the increase in passengers came a little too late at the end of a poor year for tourism. Last year passenger figures were down 1.4 per cent on 2001 with a total 17.2 million passengers using Palma airport, 7.72 per cent less than the previous year. The biggest slump was in the number of German passengers flying to Palma, down 16.67 per cent, with some of them only flying into Palma to board a connecting flight to their final holiday destination, while the British market experienced a 26 per cent increase.

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