Passenger traffic at Spanish airports bounced back to near pre-pandemic levels in October, state-controlled airport operator Aena said on Friday.

Almost 24 million travellers passed through Aena's facilities last month, the operator said - 97% of the number recorded in October 2019 before COVID travel restrictions hit.

Overall traffic in 2022 will be higher than its last forecast of 85% of 2019 levels, Aena added.

Traffic to Spain appears to be growing faster than in some other countries. Britain's Heathrow airport said two weeks ago demand would take years to return to pre-pandemic levels.

While travellers have put COVID restrictions behind them across Europe, they have met a host of other troubles including staff shortages and labour disputes.

(Reporting by Tiago Brandao, editing by Inti Landauro and Andrew Heavens)