North Catalan airport inaugurates new commercial flights
Routes to and from Marseille, Madrid, and Palma de Mallorca inaugurated on Friday
The Andorra-La Seu d’Urgell airport, in the north of Catalonia near the Andorran border, has inaugurated new commercial routes to Marseille, Palma, and Madrid, with 80% occupation.
On the first day of operations, a total of 14 people, including 12 professionals, landed on Friday morning from the French city, in what was a test to see if the airport will be able to operate commercial flights with more regularity in the future. The flight was operated by Twin Jey, a daughter company of Air France.
23 people flew to Palma, in Mallorca, while 22 flew to Madrid. The return flight to Marseille had 13 people on board. The flights were organized by the company Viatges Regina.
The mayor the La Seu d’Urgell, Albert Batalla, expressed his pleasure with the implementation of the new routes, stating that they “demonstrate how it is possible to fly at this airport.” He also emphasized that despite the difficulties to operate commercial flights on a regular basis until Spain has approved the approach system, “things like this can be done.”
The manager of Viatges Regina is also pleased with today's events, and has hopes for the future. "I have a dream to one day see a plane from London land here. It's one of the traditional markets, and to bring London to withing two hours from Andorra and the snow of the Pyrenees is very important for us," he said.
Indeed, the airport is not a typical airport, mostly hosting general aviation flights rather. Opened in 1982, it was closed to commercial flights in 1984 and was used solely by private planes until 2008. The Catalan government bought it and got to work redeveloping it and reopening it to commercial flights. Its short runway limits the size of aircraft and destination distances. However, the airport wants to increase the regularity of commercial flights flying to and from the facility.