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Girona Airport passenger numbers continue to plummet but freight traffic is saving grace

New passenger data from Girona-Costa Brava Airport indicates another negative differential. During the month of June 215,985 passengers came through the terminal located some 100 kilometres north of Barcelona, a 17.5% decrease from the same period in 2015. This is the lowest such number since 2003, which was before Ryanair started to operate from Girona. Traffic at the airport is currently at a level half of those from 2008, 2009 or 2010 when, in months like June, the amount of passengers surpassed half a million. This June has only been another piece in a long string of woes for Girona, as traffic has plummeted year after year from its peak in 2008 (5.5 million passengers total).The only positive note is the merchandise passing through. During the past month, 17,515 tons of goods were transported through Girona Airport, a figure 142.3% better than the year before.

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13 July 2015 10:15 PM

by

ACN

Girona (ACN).– New passenger data from Girona-Costa Brava Airport indicates another negative differential. During the month of June 215,985 passengers came through the terminal located some 100 kilometres north of Barcelona, a 17.5% decrease from the same period in 2015. This is the lowest such number since 2003 (back when there were 75,402 passengers), which was before Ryanair started to operate from Girona. Traffic at the airport is currently at a level half of those from 2008, 2009 or 2010 when, in months like June, the amount of passengers surpassed half a million. This June has only been another piece in a long string of woes for Girona, as traffic has plummeted year after year from its peak in 2008 (5.5 million passengers total) to a measly projection of 1.5 million passengers in 2015 – if the latest trends continue. The only positive note is the merchandise passing through. During the past month, 17,515 tons of goods were transported through Girona Airport, a figure 142.3% better than the year before.


In previous years, the lowest figure was found in 2014 – with 261,766 passengers – followed by June 2011 with 298,107 passengers. In the rest of data, there is no other June with fewer than 300,000 passengers. Moreover, during the Girona Airport's busiest time, it had a peak of 532,822 passengers in June 2008. While in 2012 the number of passengers rose (up 10.4% compared to 2011), June has accumulated falls in the last three years: -17.5% in 2015, -19% in 2014 and -1.8% in 2013.

Meanwhile, El Prat Airport in Barcelona has experienced an increase in the number of passengers each year since 2010. And most recently the airport has put up record growth numbers with a 4.8% increase in passengers from January to June compared to 2014. This counterbalance has been caused in part by Barcelona drawing flights from Ryanair that would have gone through Girona otherwise.

In February, the Executive Director of Ryanair said that their decline in connections from Girona, which this summer have gone from 49 to 36 destinations – has been caused by a lack of airplanes. The Irish company is expecting an order for new aircraft later this year, and, according to the company, once it receives the new planes, it will offer more routes.

A bad first half

The aggregate for the first six months of 2015 show a bleak outlook for Girona Airport. All months have closed with declines in passengers from a maximum in April (-19.4%) to a milder drop in March (-6.2%). On average, each month lost 15% of passengers compared to the same period in 2014.

During the first half of 2015, 754,984 passengers have used the facilities located in Vilobí d'Onyar municipality (about 125,830 a month on average). If this projection continues for the rest of the year, the airport would close out 2015 with around 1.5 million passengers, a paltry half of what the airport drew in 2011, when 3,007,649 travellers passed through, according to Aena.

This would be the lowest figure in over a decade. In 2014, Girona Airport transported 2,160,646 passengers, a 21.1% decline from 2013. Since 2008, when the airport tabulated a record 5.5 million passengers, it has strung six consecutive years of downturns together. This situation could be repeated yet again if the numbers from the first half of the year carry forward.

Goods on the uptick

The only positive note coming from Girona Airport is freight transport. During the first half of the year, 66,104 kg of goods have been transported from Girona Airport, a number that increases every month. During the month of June, 17,515 kg were transported, 142.3% more than for the same month last year.  The auto industry has been the primary user of the airport, which sends and receives car parts and other vehicles using the aircraft as a means of transport.

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  • Ryanair aircrafts in Girona-Costa Brava Airport in 2011 (by ACN)

  • Ryanair aircrafts in Girona-Costa Brava Airport in 2011 (by ACN)