The seats offer in Barcelona was drastically reduced from mid-March as a result of the application of the state of alarm in Spain. Initially, the alarm state had to be shorter over time, which would have allowed a faster recovery. Unfortunately, this has not been the case and the health situation forced the alarm state to be extended, causing airlines to delay the offer of seats at both the European and intercontinental levels.

According to Eurocontrol data, Barcelona remains in the same range of operations reduction compared to 2019 as the main European airports between -85% -100%.

The main airlines that fly in Barcelona, like the vast majority of European airlines, are stopped with reductions in activity compared to the previous year and their traffic is nil except for repatriation flights and shipments of medical supplies. With this complicated situation, many airlines have reduced their costs as much as possible. The main companies operating at Barcelona airport Vueling (-97.3%), Ryanair (-97.7%), Easyjet (-99.5%), Norwegian (-94.2%) as well as the main companies with intercontinental connections American Airlines (-63.5%), Emirates (-99.7%) and Qatar (-85.9%) have minimized their operations according to data from the last week of April compared to the previous year (source Eurocontrol and CAPA). The schedules from June or July, as of April, remain without drastic changes of reduction while waiting for the restrictions of the governments to be lifted, to be able to restart flights and reactivate demand.

At the air cargo level, considering that more than 70% of the merchandise that moves in BCN is transported in the hold of passenger planes and especially on intercontinental flights, the impact of massive flight cancellations is significantly reducing cargo capacity. Therefore, the current offer is limited to the few pure cargo flights that operate regularly, although different charter flights (especially to / from China) have been chartered for this period for the transfer of medical equipment.

Figure 6 compares the air cargo capacity between 2020 and 2019 for the two regions with the highest supply from BCN: the Middle East and North America. Reductions of 80% and 95% are observed, respectively. It should be noted that these data are dynamic and change from week to week, as airline.


Source: Barcelona Chamber of Commerce


Barcelona Air Route Development Committee (BARDC)