High speed train connection announced for Girona airport
55 million euros will be invested in construction of transport link
55 million euros will be invested in construction of transport link
Last month, Barcelona, Girona and Reus airports registered rise in travelers of 3.9%, 21.8% and 28.2% respectively
Barcelona’s Port registered an 8% growth in container traffic this March in comparison to the same period last year, reaching 493,000 TEUs (one TEU = one 20ft container). Both exports and imports saw a growth of more than 5%, along with an increase in container cargo coastal trade. All in all, 11.1 million tons of merchandise were registered from January to March of 2016. This is also represented by an increase both in liquid and solid merchandise in bulk. Meanwhile, the Barcelona El Prat airport experienced a rise in passengers in the first trimester of 2016, marking 16.1% more than the same period of the previous year, at a total of 8.5 million people. Along with this, both the Girona-Costa Brava airport and Reus airport, located in the Girona and Tarragona provinces respectively, witnessed an augmentation in traffic in the month of March.
3,974,609 passengers used Barcelona El Prat airport in September, which represents a 4.6% growth in comparison to the same month last year. Moreover, this figure sets a new record for a month of September, according to Spanish public airport operator and air navigation service provider AENA, and pushes the total number of passengers using Barcelona El Prat airport to30,695,805 since the beginning of the year. However, El Prat was not the busiest airport in Spain; in September Madrid Barajas registered the highest number of passengers, 4,331,642, which is 11.7% higher than for the same month last year. The situation in Girona and Reus airports in Catalonia contrast with El Prat, as both continue to lose nearly 20% of their total number of passengers.
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.
The Catalan Government announced it will bring the High-Speed Train to Girona Costa Brava Airport thanks to an investment of €8 million. On the one hand, the tourism and economic sectors in Girona have celebrated the agreement because the construction will connect the airport to the city of Barcelona, to Barcelona El Prat Airport, to Figueres and to Southern France. On the other hand, High-Speed train experts from the University of Girona (UdG) are sceptical about the performance of these trains at Girona Costa Brava Airport because of the low volume of passengers and the profile of low-cost travellers.
2,160,646 passengers passed through Girona Costa Brava Airport in 2014, a 21.1% decrease over 2013. This figure, according to Aena, the Spanish Airport Authority, is the lowest since the low-cost Irish airline, Ryanair, began operating at the airport in 2004. From the record breaking 5.5 million passengers in 2008, the infrastructure has suffered six consecutive years of decline, coinciding with Ryanair’s arrival at Barcelona El Prat and the increase of its operation from Catalonia’s main airport.However, the 2014 data report from Aena showed that 90,364 tonnes of air freight were transported from Girona airport, an increase of 97.3% over the previous year.
The Spanish Airport Authority (AENA) has announced that this coming winter season over 8.4 million seats will be on offer on flights out of Barcelona El Prat Airport, an increase of 6.8% compared to last year. Seats on intercontinental destinations have increased by 13.6% over last year. The number of flight operations (take-offs and landings) is anticipated to be 47,000: an increase of 4.1% to 2013. In contrast, the airport of Girona Costa Brava (northern Catalonia) has announced it will offer 16 routes this winter season, 20% less than last year. Ryanair has implemented the cuts it announced last May and will no longer be connecting Girona to London or Paris. Ryanair and Wizz Air will be the only airlines flying from Girona to Kiev, and only Ten Airwais will operate charter flights to Nador, Morocco. This summer, Girona airport connected passengers to 69 destinations.
This July, Barcelona El Prat Airport broke a new record by surpassing 4 million passengers in one month. 4,027,585 travellers passed through the main Catalan airport last month, an increase of 4.9% from July 2013. This makes Barcelona's airport the second busiest in Spain, only just beaten by Madrid Barajas Airport, which registered 37,831 passengers more than El Prat this month, a total of 4,065,416. There has also been good news from Girona Costa Brava Airport, which reported a 5.5% growth in aeroplane capacity utilisation this year, despite the falling passengers numbers overall. The amount of airport passengers in Spain as a whole has now increased for the 9th consecutive month and represents a 4% rise from this time last year.
In May 2014 the Catalan airfield recorded 3,397,097 passengers, a 5.5% increase on May last year. Madrid's international airport exceeded this number with a total 3,544,649 passengers, 147,562 more than its Catalan rival, with a 4.1% growth. Madrid's airport has recovered from the 10% losses registered over the last 2 years, but it grows much slower than its Catalan competitor. One of the reasons for Barcelona's growth is the notable increase of intercontinental flyers. In the first 5 months of 2014, 13,517,143 people flew from Barcelona, a 7% increase from the same period in 2013. The equivalent figure from Madrid is 15,808,392, representing a 2.8% increase. Meanwhile, the number of passengers arriving at Girona- Costa Brava Airport, continues to decline, with a fall of 20% since 2013.
Barcelona’s El Prat Airport has ended 2013 strongly to reach a new record of 35.2 million passengers, amounting to a 0.2% increase over the previous year in a context of economic crisis. According to figures released by the Spanish Airport Authority (AENA), in December 2013, 2.3 million passengers transited through El Prat, meaning 5.3% more than during the same month last year. On the other hand, Madrid’s Barajas Airport continues on a downward trend, with its yearly number of passengers dropping to 39.7 million, an 11% decrease. Girona Airport, the second largest in Catalonia, has registered negative figures for the fifth consecutive year. However, this latest decrease has been more moderate (-3.8 %) than during previous years and in 2013 it received 2.74 million passengers.
The Irish low-cost company issued a statement in reply to the European Commission’s investigation into the marketing agreement between Ryanair and the Catalan airports of Girona-Costa Brava and Reus (near the Costa Daurada). A competitor of Ryanair at Barcelona El Prat Airport had filed a complaint in Brussels accusing the Irish airline of profiting from public grants that were violating EU competition regulations. On Wednesday, the European Commission announced the launch of an investigation, which “does not prejudge the outcome”. In its statement, Ryanair pointed out that the European Court of Justice has already issued a judgement in 2008 stating that marketing agreements with airports are not state aid.
Both Barcelona-El Prat and Madrid-Barajas received 3.8 million passengers during the month of July, a figure which represents an increase of 0.3% for the Catalan and a decrease of 14.4% for Madrid’s compared to July 2012. The figures released by Aena, the public body that controls the majority of Spain’s airports, show that El Prat records its highest ever amount of passengers for the month of July and, up until now, a total of 20 million people have passed through its gates this year. Girona airport had 384,187 passengers, a reduction of 1.8%. While Reus airport (south Catalonia) saw passenger levels rise by 0.7% compared to July of 2012 with a total of 166,984.
From the next summer season, the Irish low-cost airline will cancel 4 routes from Barcelona Airport and reduce the frequency of 20 others due to the increase in airport taxes imposed by the Spanish Government. This decision means that 170 fewer flights will operate through the Catalan airport per week. In addition, the number of passengers transported per year by Ryanair will also be reduced, dropping from 5.4 million to 4.2 million. Furthermore, it will mean the direct loss of 1,200 jobs at Barcelona El Prat Airport, according to the airline. Ryanair will also cancel routes from Madrid Barajas and it will eliminate the flight linking the Spanish capital to Girona airport.
The Irish low cost airline, Ryanair, has announced it will transport 3 million passengers through the Girona-Costa Brava Airport, where it will operate a total of 59 routes. Ryanair’s Vice President, Michael Cawley, explained that after a long negotiation process an agreement has been reached with the Catalan Government. “It’s not 100% our agreement, it’s not 100% the Government’s agreement, so it’s probably a good agreement” he said ironically. Ryanair and the Catalan Government have been arguing over the last year about the airline’s presence in Girona and Reus airports.