Half as many passengers at Barcelona airport in September as same month in 2019

Travelers treble compared to 2020, but far from pre-pandemic levels

Image of the main facade of Barcelona airport's Terminal 2 on June 15, 2021 (by Albert Cadanet)
Image of the main facade of Barcelona airport's Terminal 2 on June 15, 2021 (by Albert Cadanet) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 13, 2021 01:49 PM

The number of passengers at Barcelona airport in September was roughly half the amount recorded in the same month of 2019.

Those departing from or landing to the Catalan capital were 2,634,229 last month, a decrease of 48.4% compared to September 2019.

The pre-pandemic levels are still very far, but September is only the second month when figures dropped compared to before the first outbreaks by less than 50%, the first one being August.

The figures recorded last month treble (212% increase) those registered in September 2020, when 844,410 people took off or landed in Barcelona.

Yet, the users in the facility in the first nine months of 2021 are very similar to the same period last year, with a 4% increase to reach 11,590,328. That is, 71.5% fewer people than in 2019.

The total number of flights so far in 2021 is 106,352, some 5.1% more than in 2020 and 59.7% less than in 2019.

Last month, the airport registered 20,838 operations, ie take offs and landings. This was 35.1% less than in August 2019 but 98.5% more than last year.

Freight traffic showed a similar pattern. It rose 23.3% this year compared to last year, to 12,268,485 tonnes; still 22.9% below pre-pandemic levels.

While restrictions are being loosened in general, Covid certificates still required when traveling from most of Europe and elsewhere. Here's the updated list of countries deemed at risk.

Expansion of Barcelona airport denied

The figures were published by Aena, the Spanish government-owned company managing Spain's top airports – this firm was denied its intention to expand Barcelona's airport to allow the facility host up to 70 million passengers per year, 15 more than now.

While Spain said the expansion plan was being withdrawn until at least 2026 due to a lack of support from Catalan authorities, the government in Catalonia believes Madrid never really wanted to make the investment – in any case, the cabinet is skeptical about accepting any works that impact on La Ricarda lagoon, as Aena's project provides.

In July, before the expansion was ruled out, Catalan News published a podcast with stances of those in favor and against the plans. Have a listen: