Madrid-Barajas Airport, is the main international airport serving Madrid in Spain. In 2010, over 49.8 million passengers used Madrid-Barajas, making it the country's largest and busiest airport, and in 2009 it was the world's 11th busiest airport and Europe's fourth busiest airport. It opened in 1928, and has grown to be one of the most important aviation centres of Europe. Located within the city limits of Madrid, just 9 km (5.6 mi) from the city's financial district and 13 km (8.1 mi) northeast of the Puerta del Sol, Madrid's historic centre. The airport name derives from the adjacent district of Barajas, which has its own metro station on the same rail line serving the airport.
The Madrid-Barcelona air shuttle service, known as the "Puente AÃ©reo" (in Spanish), literally "Air Bridge", is the busiest air route in Europe, with the highest number of flight operations (971 per week) before 2007. The schedule has been reduced since February 2008, when the Madrid-Barcelona high-speed rail line was opened, covering the distance in 2Â½ hours, and quickly became popular. Barajas serves as the gateway to the Iberian peninsula from the rest of Europe and the world, and is a particularly key link between Europe and Latin America. The airport is the primary hub and maintenance base for Iberia. Consequently, Iberia is responsible for more than 60 percent of Barajas' traffic.