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  • The airport increased traffic by up to 11.2% in 2016, more than London-Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt or Madrid-Barajas
  • The Barcelona airport registered a total of 40.9 million passengers between January and October, with a 7.3% increase compared to 2016

El Prat, ranked number six and leader in growth in Europe’s top ten airports, is now opening up new routesEl Prat Airport was the fastest growing international airport in terms of passenger numbers in last year’s European top ten rankings. This data was published by the Eurostat statistics office in mid-October, and showed that El Prat increased its traffic in 2016 by up to 11.2%, with travellers exceeding 44 million in just one year. This increase is higher than that recorded by the airports of London-Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt or Madrid-Barajas, the latter having seen a growth rate of 6.2%.

With respect to the origin of the airport’s visitors, Barcelona’s airport registered 24.8 million from European Union destinations, while non-EU traffic accounted for 7.1 million people. This difference is due to the high number of European short-haul flights on offer, which represent more than 60% of the airport’s transit. Heathrow Airport remained the busiest in Europe, with a total of 75.7 million passengers and 45 million non-EU travellers, although its growth amounted to a mere 1%.

In this sense, increases at El Prat were similar in terms of both domestic flights (+ 11.4%) and international flights (+ 11.1%), according to data published by the airport management body Aena. With regard to intercontinental flights, the market that experienced the most pronounced growth was Latin America, with 28.4% compared to 2015, followed by North America (+ 17.7%), the Middle East (+ 14.7%) and Africa (+ 11%).

Barcelona airport has grown by 7.3% in 2017, while Norwegian, Asiana and Level have announced new intercontinental routes

El Prat is continuing to expand its connectivity with the world, with new routes from Barcelona pushing growth. Barcelona’s international airport registered a total of 40.9 million passengers between January and October of 2017, with an increase of 7.3% when compared to 2016.

The Nordic airline company Norwegian has announced two new destinations from Barcelona. These are routes with Buenos Aires and the city of Cordoba, in Argentina. Asiana Airlines will be connecting Barcelona and Seoul as of next August, with a schedule of four flights per week, while  Level, the International Airline Group company, will be launching a new route between Barcelona and Boston, after 28 March next year.


Ricard Font
Secretary of Infrastructure and Mobility, Government of Catalonia
January 2018
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