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EasyJet to open operational base at Barcelona-El Prat Airport in early 2016

EasyJet, the second-largest low-cost carrier in Europe, will open a new operational base at Barcelona-El Prat Airport in February 2016. In doing so, the British low-cost airline will permanently base aircraft and crew at the Catalan airport, upgrading their presence in Barcelona. In particular, the company's hub will create 120 new local jobs – mainly for pilots and cabin crew – and will entail the allocation of three A320 Airbuses at Barcelona-El Prat airport. With this operation, EasyJet aims to provide an enhanced service for business passengers "who will go to and return the same day from destinations such as London and Geneva". The company has been operating in Barcelona El Prat for 19 years, transporting a total of approximately 32 million passengers to and from the Catalan airport.

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18 June 2015 09:56 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- EasyJet, the second-largest low-cost carrier in Europe behind Ryanair, will open a new operational base at Barcelona-El Prat Airport in February 2016. In doing so, the British low-cost airline will permanently base aircraft and crew at the Catalan airport, upgrading their presence in Barcelona. In particular, the company's hub will create 120 new local jobs – mainly for pilots and cabin crew – and will entail the allocation of three A320 Airbuses at Barcelona-El Prat airport. With this operation, EasyJet aims to provide an enhanced service for business passengers "who will go to and return the same day from destinations such as London and Geneva". The company has been operating in Barcelona El Prat for 19 years, transporting a total of approximately 32 million passengers to and from the Catalan airport.


"It is a natural step for us", said Javier Gándara, Director of EasyJet in Spain and Portugal, speaking about the opening of the new operational base in Barcelona. As he explained, it is a "continuation of our strategy" in a market that "we know very well". In this regard, he recalled that the Catalan airport was the first outside of the United Kingdom from where the company operated flights, along with Amsterdam.

New operational base will offer improved services for business passengers

Gándara stressed that the new operational base will improve the services available for business travellers, who already amount to 20% of total passengers. He explained that – with the launch of the new Barcelona-based hub – flights will be taking off earlier in the morning, allowing customers to go and return on the same day from destinations such as London and Geneva.

The Director of EasyJet in Spain and Portugal pointed out that enhancing the service for business passengers means improving the customer experience of professionals and small and medium business entrepreneurs, not only managers of large multinationals. The objective is to keep offering enhancements for this kind of passenger, without affecting the company's business model.

On the other hand, he stressed that on Thursday the selection process for the 120 new jobs available is already starting, primarily aimed at recruiting pilots and cabin crew. At the end of this hiring campaign, the number of EasyJet staff in Barcelona will be 250 people. Gándara emphasised that they will be employed on local contracts, according to EasyJet corporate policy.

Finally, Gándara highlighted that the opening of the new operational base in Barcelona has nothing to do with the closure of the operational base at the Madrid Barajas Airport three years ago.

Barcelona will be the British low-cost airline carrier’s 8th operational base

With the opening of the new operational base next February, Barcelona-El Prat Airport will become the 8th airline base of the British low-cost airline carrier. Currently, EasyJet operates flights to 14 destinations from Barcelona, offering a total of 436 flights weekly.

In 2014, the number of passengers going through Catalonia’s main airport grew by 6.7% compared to 2013 figures. In total, some 37,559,044 people travelled through Barcelona El Prat Airport last year and for the first time this top transport infrastructure broke the 37 million passengers mark. With a strong focus on low-cost airlines, by 2016 the Catalan airport will become the most important hub in Europe for short- and medium-haul flights.

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  • Easyjet's press conference in Barcelona El Prat Airport (by L. Vilaró)

  • Easyjet's press conference in Barcelona El Prat Airport (by L. Vilaró)