Ryanair for the third consecutive year has maintained its leadership in the Spanish market in carrying 28.917 million passengers in 2012 an increase of 1.6% (460,000 passengers) on last year over 10 million passengers ahead of Iberia Airlines 15.238 million passengers down 14.7%, Iberia Express * 2.2 million passengers and Vueling Airlines 13.745 million passengers up 19.7%. The Spanish downturn had no effect on Barcelona El Prat Airport which reported the best year in its history exceeding 35 million passengers for the first in 2012 , as traffic grew by 2.2% Ryanair and Vueling expanded to fill the void in the market in wake of the collapse of Spanair. Ryanair grew by a record 49.8% or 5.18 million passengers. *Iberia Express commenced operations 25th March 2012. Irish Aviation Research Institute © 13th January 2012 All Rights Reserved.