Barcelona El Prat is the main airport linking Spain to the Middle East and Asia

January 18, 2013 10:03 PM | CNA

The main Catalan airport is increasing the number of intercontinental flights in terms of both destination and frequency, one of the strategic drives implementing its expansion plan. Barcelona’s Airport already has 31% of the intercontinental traffic in Spain, despite the fact that the partially state-owned Iberia’s international flights abandoned the Catalan airport years ago in favour of Madrid Barajas. Barcelona Airport has attracted other airlines, such as Emirates, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines, and has specialised in connections to the Middle East and Asia, although it also has flights to the Americas. Last week, there was a press release that stated that 35.15 million passengers went through Barcelona Airport in 2012.

Italian ferry company Grimaldi invests €20 million in its new terminal in Barcelona Port

January 14, 2013 10:28 PM | CNA

Grimaldi will build a new short-distance terminal in Barcelona Port and run it for a 15-year period, which has the possibility to be extended for a further seven and a half years. The Italian company wants to increase its presence in the Catalan capital, from where it currently runs four regular ferry lines linking Barcelona to Civitavecchia (Rome), Livorno (Florence), Porto Torres (Sardinia) and Tanger (Morocco). The new building will be ready by next summer and will be able to serve 1,800 passengers. It will cover 3,750 m2, have three stories and three boarding bridges, and it will be surrounded by a large esplanade where cars can wait before they board the ferry.

Barcelona El Prat Airport transported 35.15 million passengers in 2012, breaking its own record

January 10, 2013 10:54 PM | CNA

The number of people travelling through the main Catalan airport reached a new record last year, despite the economic recession. 35,145,176 people travelled through the airport, a 2.2% increase compared to 2011. Madrid-Barajas, Barcelona Airport’s main competitor, saw the number of its passengers drop by 9% to a total of 45.19 million people. Barcelona’s improvement is due to the significant increase in international passengers, since domestic ones dropped by 9.6%. The greatest increase was in the number of passengers arriving from or going to another EU state, which grew by 9.2%. People flying from or to outside the European Union increased by 8.9% and intercontinental passengers by 3.45%.

The last High Speed railway stretch between Barcelona and France has finally been unveiled after years of delays

January 8, 2013 11:17 PM | CNA

The Spanish Government has finally finished the construction work and circulation tests on the last 131-kilometre stretch of railroad to France. Barcelona, Girona and Figueres are now linked by High Speed Train, although a direct connection between the Catalan capital and France will have to wait until next April. Now, passengers can travel from Barcelona to Girona in only 37 minutes and to Figueres in a total of 53 minutes. If they want to continue to France, they will have to switch trains until April, when the Spanish trains will be standardised to be able to run in France. However, from now on, the Spanish and the French High Speed railway networks will finally be connected, twenty years after the Madrid-Seville line was unveiled. The Catalan President has emphasised that Catalonia is the Autonomous Community with the smallest amount of public infrastructures in Spain.

Barcelona El Prat Airport received 30.7 million passengers in the first 10 months of the year

November 12, 2012 10:45 PM | CNA

The number of passengers going through Barcelona’s Airport between January and October grew by 4%, compared to the same period last year. In just 10 months, the airport of the Catalan capital had more passengers than in the entire of 2010. The number of international passengers increased by 6.2% and those coming from the Middle East, non-Schengen Europe and Argentina grew by 25%. In fact, Barcelona El Prat’s expansion strategy is focused on international flights, especially increasing the number of intercontinental flights and their destinations. However, the number of domestic flight passengers dropped by 11.1%.

Vueling airline to link Barcelona to 100 destinations in summer 2013

October 17, 2012 05:26 PM | CNA / Josep Ramon Torné

The Catalan company presented its strategic plan for next two years, which fosters its main hub, Barcelona El Prat Airport, by adding 28 new routes from next summer. Vueling plans to transform Barcelona Airport into the main European hub for short and medium distance flights. Currently, it is already the second continental hub in this category. Furthermore Vueling will strengthen its offer to business travellers by unveiling the ‘Excellence’ flying class and direct flights between Barcelona and London-Gatwick or Frankfurt. In addition, the Catalan airline will end 2012 with a profit for the fourth consecutive year.

High Speed Train between Barcelona and Madrid gets 50% of the passenger traffic between the two cities

August 27, 2012 11:25 PM | CNA

50.2% of the people travelling between Barcelona and Madrid in the first six months of the year used the High Speed Train (AVE), instead of the car, bus or airplane. 1.4 million people used this AVE line between January and June, a 6.2% increase compared to the same period last year. In addition, the Port of Barcelona had 905,000 passengers in the first half of 2012, making it the first port in Spain in terms of passenger traffic.

High-Speed Train from Barcelona to France now delayed until the end of 2013

April 13, 2012 12:10 AM | CNA / Xavier Pi / Marina López

According to the Catalan Government, the High-Speed Train service linking the Catalan capital with the French border has been delayed one more year, this time until the end of 2013. The reason is that work on two sections of the railway, managed by the Spanish Government, is still pending to be allocated. They are the Barcelona exit and the section through Girona; both total €33 million according to the Catalan Government. The rest is already built and the service between the northern city of Figueres and the French city of Perpignan is already in operation. However, this strategic railway is not fully completed between Figueres and Barcelona due to a long list of delays.

The European Parliament unanimously votes against Madrid-Barajas’ privileges to exclusively run intercontinental flights

February 2, 2012 09:44 PM | CNA

The Spanish Government has signed 23 bilateral agreements with other countries that fix Madrid Barajas as the only airport in Spain where their flights can operate. This discriminates against Barcelona El Prat Airport by not permitting it to have international and intercontinental connections. The European Parliament has unanimously approved an amendment presented by a Liberal Catalan Nationalist MEP from CiU.

Barcelona Airport’s Managing Board to include a majority of local members and decisions to be taken by two third majority

November 11, 2011 10:14 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Spanish Government decided that five members will be appointed by Catalan administrations and the business community, and four others will be nominated by the Spanish Airport Authority (AENA). However, decisions will be taken with a two third majority. It will decide on airport taxes, routes and other strategic aspects. 29.5 million passengers passed through Barcelona El Prat Airport in the first ten months of 2011, a figure already higher than that registered for all of 2010.

High-Speed Train between Barcelona and Madrid is reduced to 2h 30 min

October 25, 2011 12:04 AM | CNA

Trains will reach a maximum speed of 310 km/h along some points of the trip. The improvement is due to the implementation of a new navigation system that has reduced the journey time for direct trains by eight minutes. The Spanish train operator, RENFE, hopes to overtake air travel as the preferred way to go from one city to the other. The air route between Barcelona and Madrid is the busiest in Europe and it used to be the busiest in the world.

The Mediterranean Railway Corridor for freight and High-Speed passenger trains is “an undeniable priority” states Spanish Minister for Public Works

July 7, 2011 10:57 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Spanish Minister for Public Works, Jose Blanco, attended the end of the drilling works of the High-Speed Train tunnel that will cross Girona, part of the line that will connect with the French border. The Mediterranean Railway Corridor is a long running issues for Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia and Andalucía. It would link the Straights of Gibraltar, the harbours of Barcelona and Valencia, and Central and Northern Europe, allowing a freight train to go from Algeciras or Barcelona directly to Hamburg or Stockholm.