Barcelona (ACN).- Barcelona El Prat Airport became the main gateway connecting Spain to the Middle East and Asia, according to a study by Barcelona\u2019s Chamber of Commerce released on Friday. The main Catalan airport is increasing the number of its intercontinental flights in terms of both destination and frequency, one of the strategic drives implementing its expansion plan. Until the 31st of October, Barcelona\u2019s Airport already had 31% of the intercontinental traffic in Spain in 2012, despite the fact that the partially state-owned Iberia\u2019s international flights abandoned the Catalan airport years ago in favour of Madrid Barajas. However, Barcelona Airport has attracted other airlines, such as Emirates, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines. In addition it has specialised in connections to the Middle East and Asia, although it also has flights to the Americas and Sub-Saharian Africa. Last week, there was a press release that stated that 35.15 million passengers went through Barcelona Airport in 2012, with a 3.45% increase in intercontinental passengers compared to the 2011 figures. However, the largest increase was in flights linking Barcelona to other EU Member State airports (+9.2%) and with non-EU countries (+8.9%), such as Russia.
Emirates, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines, the main intercontinental airlines in Barcelona
Barcelona El Prat is already the main airport in Spain with the largest number of passengers going to or coming from the Middle East and Asia, the world\u2019s most dynamic markets, according to a study using data prior to the 31st of October, 2012. The main companies linking the Catalan capital to these geographic regions are Emirates, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines. As a consequence, the airports of Dubai, Doha and Istanbul are some of the main intercontinental destinations with direct flights to Barcelona.
Intercontinental flights represent 9% of the Spanish airport traffic and 18% of the European
In general terms, intercontinental traffic represents 9% of the traffic going through Spanish airports. Madrid Barajas gets 51% of the traffic, mainly through Iberia. The partially state-owned airline concentrated all of its intercontinental flights on Madrid\u2019s Airport, as well as most of its international flights, abandoning almost all its international connections from Barcelona. Therefore, the Catalan airport had to find alternatives and, thanks to these, it has managed to have 31% of Spain\u2019s intercontinental traffic.
At a European level, intercontinental traffic represents 18% of the total airport traffic. The Spanish market represents 6% of this European airport traffic with other continents. The United Kingdom leads the market with 19% of Europe intercontinental traffic, followed by Germany (16%), France (16%), Italy (8%) and the Russian Federation (8%).
26% of Europe\u2019s intercontinental traffic flies from or to Asia and Oceania
Europe\u2019s main intercontinental markets are Asia and Oceania (26%), North America (26%) and the Middle East (23%). The main intercontinental airlines working in Europe are the former state-owned companies (such as British Airways, Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, TAP and Iberia), North-American airways and those of the Middle East. In any case, it is a very fragmented market, since the top 10 companies only represent 48% of Europe\u2019s intercontinental traffic, which a percentage similar to that registered by Barcelona\u2019s Airport (47%).