Barcelona El Prat Airport is about to overtake Madrid Barajas in passenger figures
In May 2014 the Catalan airfield recorded 3,397,097 passengers, a 5.5% increase on May last year. Madrid's international airport exceeded this number with a total 3,544,649 passengers, 147,562 more than its Catalan rival, with a 4.1% growth. Madrid's airport has recovered from the 10% losses registered over the last 2 years, but it grows much slower than its Catalan competitor. One of the reasons for Barcelona's growth is the notable increase of intercontinental flyers. In the first 5 months of 2014, 13,517,143 people flew from Barcelona, a 7% increase from the same period in 2013. The equivalent figure from Madrid is 15,808,392, representing a 2.8% increase. Meanwhile, the number of passengers arriving at Girona- Costa Brava Airport, continues to decline, with a fall of 20% since 2013.
Barcelona (ACN).- Barcelona El Prat Airport is growing at a faster pace than Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas. In May 2014 the Catalan airfield recorded 3,397,097 passengers, a 5.5% increase on May last year, according to figures released this week by the Spanish Airport Authority AENA. Meanwhile, Madrid's international airport exceeded this number with a total 3,544,649 passengers, 147,562 more than its Catalan rival, but recorded a lower growth of 4.1%. Madrid's airport has recovered from the 10% losses registered over the last 2 years, but it grows significantly slower than its Catalonian competitor, which has been uninterruptedly growing at a high pace since 2010. One of the reasons for Barcelona's growth is the significant increase of intercontinental flyers passing through El Prat, which increased by 9.8%. In the first five months of this year, 13,517,143 people flew from Barcelona, an increase of more than 7% from the same period in 2013. The equivalent figure from Madrid is 15,808,392, representing a 2.8% increase. Meanwhile, the number of passengers arriving at Catalonia’s second airport, Girona-Costa Brava Airport, continues to decline, with a fall of 20% since 2013. The drop in passengers has been largely attributed to Ryanair´s steady reduction of services to this airport.
Madrid has more passengers and operations, but Barcelona is growing at a faster pace
Adolfo Suárez Madrid Barajas Airport has experienced a particular growth in international flight passengers, with an increase of 6.4% compared with May 2013, surpassing 2.5 million (2,508,770). It has seen an even greater increase in the number of charter passengers, with 44,293 passengers recorded - 10.9% more than in May last year. For the Madrid airport, the cumulative figures for the first five months of 2014 compared with the same period last year demonstrate an increase of activity across all sectors.
At Barcelona El Prat Airport, \u200B\u200Bpassengers from flights within the European Union (EU) constitute the biggest increase, with a growth of 9.7%, followed by international flight passengers from outside the EU, which have increased by 5.3 %. Within this group, the number of intercontinental flight passengers has increased by 9.8%. However, the number of those using domestic flights from Barcelona El Prat has seen a 2.1% reduction from May 2013.
In the operations section, Barcelona airport continues to enjoy positive figures and by the end of May 2014 will see 26,507 take-offs and landings, 2.4% more than in May 2013. So far Barcelona has recorded 107,744 flight operations, 1.8% more than in the same period of the previous year. In Madrid, 29,936 aircraft took off and landed in May this year, 2% more than in May 2013. The accumulated number of flight operations this year has been 135,792, 0.6% more than in the first five months of 2013.
Finally, Barcelona has transported nearly 8,800 tons of cargo, 8.6% more than in May 2013. Madrid has transported 29,800 tons, 2% more than in the same period of the previous year.
Girona-Costa Brava Airport continues to lose passengers because of Ryanair
On the other hand, the second main airport in Catalonia, Girona-Costa Brava Airport, has seen its number of passengers in May 2014 fall by over 20% compared to the same month of 2013. In May this year a total of 235,194 passengers passed through the Girona terminal, 20.2% fewer than in May 2013. These statistics compound the worrying data accumulated over 2014, during which the number of passengers has been declining. There was no point at which the number of passengers grew and the month of March was particularly worrying, with a 47.2% fall compared with March 2013, and April ended with 16.8% fewer passengers.
These grim figures are unlikely to improve, as Ryanair, the main company that operates from this airport, has announced further cuts to flights for the winter season. Specifically, only 14 destinations will operate from Girona from the last weekend of October. This represents a reduction of 25% from 19 routes operated last winter and a decrease of 36% compared to 22 destinations in the winter of 2012. Some of the routes that will be cut over the winter season include crucial connections, such as London (both Luton and Stansted) and Paris Beauvais. The Girona airport will offer 69 destinations this summer, eight fewer than in the summer season last year. Instead, Ryanair has increased its presence in Barcelona El Prat Airport.
Moreover, data collected by Aena also showed that operations at Girona have been reduced by 20.4% and the tons of cargo transported have dropped by 26.4% compared with May 2013.