Coronavirus leads to 20% drop in passengers at Barcelona Airport
Fall in first week in March is first time in years that Barcelona-El Prat has seen a decrease in numbers
The coronavirus outbreak has caused a dramatic drop in the number of passengers at Barcelona-El Prat airport during the first week of March, according to official figures released on Friday.
Between 1 and 7 March, 711,474 passengers were recorded, a 19.8% decrease compared to the same period last year. There was a 14.3% fall across Spain in the airports managed by state company AENA.
In the first week of March, with the rise of the covid-19 crisis, the total number flights in and out of Barcelona was 5,578, a 5.7% decrease, compared to the same period in 2019.
It is the first time in years that El Prat has recorded a drop in passenger numbers; 2019 saw record numbers pass through its gates.
In fact, the effect of coronavirus and the cancelation of the Mobile World Congress already caused a stagnation in passenger growth in February. The number of passengers grew by only 0.4% compared to last year, with 3.2 million passengers and 22,992 flights.
Barcelona airport data for February
Of those passengers, 2,295,624 were on international flights, giving a total of 4,721,047 so far this year, 1.5% more than in the first two months of 2019.
With regard to passengers of flights within Spain, in February there were 972,427, putting the total number in 2020 at 1,930,999 people, 2.3% more than in the same period last year.
February saw 22,992 takeoffs and landings, 1.3% more than in 2019, bringing the year's running total to 46,437.
In February, 6,669 domestic flights were operated, totaling 13,579 aircraft movements between January and February, 3.2% less than in the same period last year.
International flights, 16,101 in February, are up 2.1% on the same month in 2019, and have reached a total of 32,492 since the beginning of the year, 0.5% more than in the same months last year.
In terms of cargo, last month 13,509 tonnes of goods were transported, 9.3% more than in February 2019, meaning 27,278 tonnes between January and February, which is 7.7% more than the same months last year.
Coronavirus impacts on roads and rail
The coronavirus outbreak has also seen less traffic on the main roads in and out of Barcelona, and less people using trains and metro.
This has coincided with government measures to close schools and encourage people to work from home.