99% drop in passengers at Barcelona airport in May

El Prat feels impact of Covid-19 for fourth month in a row

Passengers in Terminal 1 of Barcelona airport, 18 March, 2020 (by Àlex Recolons)
Passengers in Terminal 1 of Barcelona airport, 18 March, 2020 (by Àlex Recolons) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

June 12, 2020 12:52 PM

The number of passengers at Barcelona's El Prat airport continued to drop to unprecedented levels in May following the trend that began in March and carried on in April.

Passengers fell by 99% compared to May 2019, as only 46,962 people took off or landed in the city this year as opposed to the all-time high of 4,681,748 the same month last year.

Yet, the May 2020 figure is also 85.5% higher than April's, when there were only 25,307 passengers.

Operations also suffered a dramatic 94.3% fall, with 1,777 flights arriving and departing from Barcelona.

Impact of Covid-19 felt for a fourth month in a row

In February, the number of passengers only grew by 0.2%, the lowest increase in a long time that could be attributed to the Mobile World Congress' cancellation due to the health crisis.

In March, the figures were already down by 64.3% compared to the same time a year earlier as the state of alarm came into force on March 14. And in April, the drop was even more drastic than in May: 99.4%.

These numbers could begin to grow in June as the state of alarm ends on June 21 – yet, border restrictions are likely to last until July 1 and entail a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

58% drop from January to May

Given the reduction in air traffic, much of the airport was closed off towards the end of March, including all of Terminal 2, with all activity concentrated in areas A and D of Terminal 1.

The figures made public on Friday show that 8,167,323 passengers traveled through the airport during the first five months of the year, down 58% compared to January to May 2019.

As for the other two main airports managed by Spain in Catalonia, both Girona (97 passengers) and Reus (226) suffered an almost 100% drop in passengers in May compared to the 12 months prior.