As Soltalk went to Press, it was announced that Portugal would be defying EU border rules and would start treating arriving British holidaymakers the same as EU citizens at its airports, a move intended to reduce massive queuing.  It means that Britons no longer need wait for manual checks arriving at Portuguese destinations, and speculation was rife that Spain could follow suit.

The news came as The Spanish Airlines Association warned of possible chaos for British tourists at Málaga’s airport this summer.  Líneas Aéreas said last month that more National Police officers are needed to check passengers’ passports.

Since the Brexit transition period ended, British tourists must get their passports stamped on entry and exit from the EU and there are fears that long queues will build up at busy airports, including Málaga and Alicante.  Over the Easter break, several hundred people missed flights from Madrid because of long queues at passport control.

Javier Gándara, president of Líneas Aéreas, said last month that there is an urgent needs for sufficient police officers to carry out the passport control process on flights to the United Kingdom to avoid problems for travellers.  He pointed out that the supply of seats between the UK and Málaga is already four per cent greater than it was in 2019.

Around 30 per cent of tourist arrivals at Málaga’s airport are from the UK and, while the EU says that the passport checking process will eventually be automated, police officers are presently required to make a manual check.