Catalan airline Vueling reached new heights in 2012 with a 20% passenger increase
The Barcelona-based company transported 14.8 million passengers in 2012, a new record for the airline. Vueling, created in 2004, transported 20% more passengers compared to 2011. The 14,794,857 customers meant a 77.7% occupancy rate over 108,433 flights, a 17.6% increase on the previous year, which led to the company closing with a profit for the fourth year in a row. Vueling is today the second biggest airline in Spain after Iberia and the third one in the number of customers, after Ryanair and Iberia.
Barcelona (ACN).-Vueling, the Catalan airline created in 2004, transported 20% more passengers in 2012 in comparison to figures for 2011. The 14,794,857 customers led to a 77.7% occupancy rate for the 108,433 flights undertaken in 2012. These figures allow Vueling to post a profit for the fourth year in a row. Vueling is today the second biggest airline in Spain after Iberia and the third one in the number of customers, after Ryanair and Iberia. December figures, consolidate Vueling’s position, having transported 967,456 people during this month, which is a 14.3% increase on the same month last year.
The recent closure of Spanair, which was mainly based in Barcelona El Prat Airport, has helped the growth of Vueling. Spanair, which received a loan of 10.5 million euros in 2011 from the Catalan Government in order to save the company, had to stop its activity in January 2012 after the negotiations with Qatar Airways failed, being unable to face its debts. The closure of Spanair provided Vueling, along with other airlines, with the opportunity to grow. Vueling took advantage of this situation by renting a third of Spanair’s planes and hiring 500 of its workers. It now has 59 operating aircrafts.
From next March Vueling will fly to a hundred destinations, some of which were overtaken after Spanair’s collapse. In addition, Vueling offers a business class called Excellence, and hopes to strengthen its position in the market and to ensure continued growth.
Vueling started its activity as a low cost company, but now it is offering much wider services, competing with traditional airlines. In the current situation, traditional airlines are experiencing a loss of customers, in favour of low cost companies. Barcelona’s airport registered 24.2% more low cost airline passengers in 2012 than in the previous year. 58% of the Spanish air travel market is dominated by low cost companies, leaving only a 42% share for the traditional airlines.