1919: The Start of Scheduled Flights at a Spanish Airport

September 1, 1919

In the southernmost part of Spain located within the Iberian Peninsula, the first scheduled commercial flights began for an airport in the country’s Costa del Sol region. This airport, which is five miles (eight kilometers) southwest of the municipality of Málaga, had been established about six months earlier.

The first regular flights originating at Málaga Aiport took place after a series of test runs. The person piloting those inaugural commercial flights was French aviator Didier Daurat (1891-1969), who flew planes between the new airport and the following cities: Toulouse in southern France; Barcelona in northeastern Spain; Alicante in southeastern Spain; Tangier in southwestern Morocco; and Casablanca in the central-west region of Morocco.

Daurat had served as a fighter pilot for his native France during World War I. Writer and fellow aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944) based the pilot Riviére in the 1931 novel Night Flight on Daurat.

Málaga Airport was officially renamed Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport in 2011. This airport is one of the oldest in Spain to remain at its original location. In addition, Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport is the fourth busiest Spanish airport. The country’s top three most heavily used airports are Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport in the capital city of Madrid; Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport in the vicinity of Barcelona; and Palma de Mallorca Airport near the city of Palma on the Spanish island of Mallorca (part of the Balearic Islands) in the Mediterranean Sea.

(The above photo of a terminal at Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport was taken in 2012).

Photo Credit: Andre Wadman (licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2, at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:GNU_Free_Documentation_License,_version_1.2)

For more information on Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport (originally known as Málaga Airport), please check out https://www.aena.es/en/malaga-costa-del-sol/get-to-know-us/history.html

Additional information on the history of aviation in Spain is available at https://aertecsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Infographic-100years-airtransport-spain-ENG.pdf

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