transport

Train shuttle linking Barcelona Airport T1 with city centre to start construction work "in a few weeks"

May 14, 2015 11:22 PM | ACN

The Spanish Government have finally announced that construction work for the train shuttle connecting Terminal 1 of Barcelona El Prat Airport to the city centre will kick off "in a few weeks", after many years of delay. The statement was made on Thursday by Spanish Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, after the weekly Cabinet meeting. The new train shuttle will carry travellers between T1, the newest and busiest terminal, to Barcelona's Sants Station in 19 minutes, making a stop at Terminal 2. According to the Deputy PM, the Spanish Ministry of Transport plans "a more-than-€200 million" investment in the project. Santi Vila, the Catalan Minister for Planning and Sustainability, described the announcement as "excellent news". An estimated 7 to 9 million people are expected to use the train shuttle each year.

American Airlines and Vueling to connect short and long-distance flights through Barcelona El Prat

March 19, 2015 09:20 PM | ACN

Vueling and American Airlines signed on Thursday an agreement to foster the interconnection of their flights through Barcelona El Prat Airport and Rome-Fiumicino so as to increase their destination network. The Barcelona-based airline offers 140 destinations from the Catalan capital to Europe, the Middle-East and Africa, and 55 from the Italian airport. American Airlines clients will be able to take a flight to Barcelona and transfer to a Vueling flight using a single ticket and pick up their luggage at their destination airport. In addition, Vueling clients will be able to take a flight to Barcelona and fly onwards to New York, Miami, Philadelphia and Charlotte through American Airlines or its subsidiary US Airways. This strategic agreement links Europe's widest network of short- and medium-distance flights, which is operated by Vueling through Barcelona, with transatlantic routes linking the Old Continent to important hubs in the United States.

High-Speed Train to stop at Girona Costa Brava Airport after Catalan Government investment

March 19, 2015 08:38 PM | ACN / Pau Rodríguez

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.

Snow covers most of Catalonia, causing minor inconveniences

February 4, 2015 09:03 PM | ACN

Some roads have been blocked for a few hours and thousands of children had their schools shut down for the day. These have been the main effects of a small snowstorm that covered most of Catalonia during Wednesday morning. Catalonia has a wide diversity of landscapes, combining alpine mountains with river deltas, flat agricultural plains with rocky coasts, hills covered by forests with sandy beaches. This diversity is concentrated in an area the size of Belgium, which results in a wide diversity of climates. In the Pyrenees, snow is present for most of the winter, but this is not the case for the rest of Catalonia. In the flatlands around Lleida or in hilly areas of Girona or the northern part of Barcelona Province, it tends to snow at least once per year, but not in the rest of the country, where it only snows once every 4 or 5 years. Therefore, when snow arrives, transport problems and other issues tend to be also present.

New ferry connects Barcelona and Savona

January 21, 2015 12:40 AM | ACN / Amélie Martinez

This January, Grimaldi, the multinational logistics group specialised in maritime transport for major vehicle manufacturers’ world suppliers, has launched a new ferry called the “Florencia” to connect the Catalan capital and Savona, an Italian port located about 50km west of Genoa. This investment allows the company to double the frequency between the two harbours. The brand new “Florencia” is 186m long and can carry 1,000 passengers and 170 cars. It makes three trips per week: at midnight every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, reaching its destination the next day at 6pm.

Barcelona El Prat Airport registers a record 37.5 million passengers for 2014

January 14, 2015 10:44 PM | ACN

The number of passengers going through Catalonia’s main airport grew by 6.7% in 2014 compared to 2013. In total, some 37,559,044 people travelled through Barcelona El Prat Airport, the first time this has broken the 37 million mark. The number of flights also increased, by 2.7%, with 283,850 involving the Catalan capital’s main airport. Furthermore, the amount of transported goods increased by 2.4%, with more than 102,000 tonnes of cargo. The type of passenger that registered the highest increase was travellers from within the European Union, which grew by 10.5% in 2014. All the markets registered positive figures except European flights from outside the EU and the Schengen Area, due to a drop in Russian tourists. The Asian market grew by 18.4% and those of the Middle East and Africa by 14.8% and 13.8% respectively.

Barcelona-based Abertis to list its telecom division on the Stock Exchange in 2015

October 30, 2014 09:45 PM | ACN

Abertis, the international group which manages transport and telecommunications infrastructures, has announced it will list its telecom exchange business on the Stock Exchange in 2015. The Catalan company presented its new Strategic Plan for 2015-2017 to investors in London this week. The main objectives of the decision were to develop its business strategy, increase returns for shareholders and boost growth. The company currently owns 8,000 radio, television and mobile signal towers. Besides, Abertis presented its numbers for the first nine months of 2014 to the Spanish Stock Exchange Authority (CNMV), including a net profit of €560 million, an increase of 4.6%. The new Strategic Plan also envisages a dividend increase of 10% for its shareholders every year until 2017.  

99.9% of Catalans will be able to participate near their home in the alternative vote on November 9

October 22, 2014 08:53 PM | ACN

938 of the 947 existing municipalities in Catalonia will host polling stations for the alternative consultation vote on independence scheduled for the 9th of November, which replaces the original non-binding referendum. According to the Catalan Government, this represents 99.9% of Catalans being able to vote in their own neighbourhood, town or village, without having to go to a nearby municipality. The Catalan Government will be using its own venues to host the polling stations (mainly high-schools), but it lacks them in small towns. For this reason it requested that town halls cooperate and make municipal venues available for voting. 4 additional municipalities could be added to the final list. In addition, civil societies and parties will be able to campaign in 305 Catalan Government's venues between the 30th of October and the 8th of November.

Catalonia to fight climate change by reducing public transportation prices on polluted days

September 25, 2014 09:38 PM | ACN

40 municipalities in Barcelona's Metropolitan Area, are to half the price of public transport during incidents of high air pollution. This is part of a Catalan Government plan for the improvement of air quality with the goal to fight climate change, affecting 4.3 million people. The main objective of the plan is to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and of particle matter less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10). The plan also includes the promotion of rail travel and increasing highway tolls and the fares of municipal parking within these areas by 25% on polluted days. In addition, there will be tax breaks for those industries achieving lower emissions. The measures are aimed at the mobility of people and goods, industrial activity, and citizens’ habits.

Metro tunnels of Barcelona host a 10k underground race at early morning

August 29, 2014 06:55 PM | Helena Lins

On Friday early morning the 10km metro tunnel of Barcelona that links Universitat and Gorg stations became the track of the second edition of Discovery Underground. This is the only urban underground race in the world going through the centre of big cities and it is an original idea of the Spanish television channel Discovery MAX. 300 men and women with background stories that assimilate the channel's premise "ordinary people living extraordinary experiences" ran for about 1.45h, with the first two people arriving at the minute 39. 2014 Discovery Underground Barcelona marks the beginning of the celebrations of the 90th anniversary of the Metro of Barcelona.

Barcelona's Metro Line 2 to remain closed between the 4th and 24th of August

August 1, 2014 08:59 PM | ACN

Barcelona's Metro L2 will be affected by renovation work from next Monday the 4th of August till Sunday the 24th of August. The stretch between Passeig de Gràcia and Clot metro stations will be closed due to the improvement of the railway's mechanical condition. According to the Catalan Ministry of Planning and Sustainability, the partial suspension of the metro service was planned for this August in order to minimise disruptions to travellers, since during this period the demand for urban mobility is lower. However, during the closure of the affected L2 stretch, other public transport alternatives will be provided to customers.

BASF postpones its Tarragona intermodal station to 2017 due to Madrid's delay building the Mediterranean Corridor

July 21, 2014 08:58 PM | ACN

German chemical multinational BASF does not expect to launch its intermodal merchant station in Tarragona's petro-chemical compound until early 2017, two years after it initially forecast. The date of commissioning, as recognised by the company, is conditioned by the start of construction of the third rail connecting the railway line in Tarragona to the Mediterranean Railway Corridor (a strategic transport priority for the European Union), an infrastructure the Spanish Government keeps delaying. Although there is currently no start date for construction, BASF has set up the company ‘Combiterminal Catalonia SL’: a 'joint venture' with Contank SA, Hoyer España SA, and Schmidt Holding GmbH and Tradillo Inversiones SL (Pañalón Group) collaborating to build and operate the station.

Exports from the Port of Barcelona increase by 63% from pre-crisis levels registered in 2008

July 18, 2014 08:36 PM | ACN

63% more exports have been channelled through the Port of Barcelona during the first six months of 2014 than in the same period of 2008, prior to the economic crisis. On Friday, the President of Barcelona Port Authority, Sixte Cambra, announced that 2014 will be the year of record sums of exports and imports from the Catalan port. The Port finished the first half of 2014 with 22.5 million tons of goods transported, representing an increase of 7% compared with the same period of 2013. Cambra said that growth occurred in all cargo sections of the port, driven by foreign trade, especially exports.

Chinese company Hutchison invests an extra €150 million in Barcelona Port terminal extension

June 6, 2014 10:27 PM | ACN

Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) intends to make the terminal it runs in Barcelona's Port the most productive in the world, according to Clemence Cheng, Managing Director of HPH Europe. Cheng said that in its first two years the terminal has exceeded all expectations.  The Chinese company will therefore increase its ''commitment'' to Barcelona and will effect the second phase of investment at a cost of €150 million, in addition to the €315 million already invested two years ago. The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, participated on Friday in a ceremony to mark the kick-off of the new phase of construction and took the opportunity to claim the right of self-determination is also in order for Barcelona's Port to have maximum autonomy and not depend on decisions taken far away in Madrid.

Barcelona El Prat Airport to be connected by metro by early 2016

June 4, 2014 03:18 PM | ACN

The Barcelona Metro will reach El Prat Airport by the first half of 2016, perhaps even earlier, according to forecasts announced on Wednesday by the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas. The L9 line connecting Barcelona municipality to El Prat Airport and other cities has been under construction since 2002, and was originally anticipated to open in 2008, but the financial crisis and the state of public finances have delayed its full completion. An initial stretch of the line became operational in 2009, located at the opposite end to the airport. Once fully finished, the underground line will consist of two branches spanning across the Barcelona metropolitan area, making it the longest automatic metro line in Europe. The entire project will represent a total investment of €16 billion, €3 billion of which is for the airport connection. The test phase of the airport stretch will begin this autumn and should be completed by early 2016 or earlier.