Routes with Asia and North America are the priority aims for BARDC over the next two years


  • The leading destinations for the new Strategic Plan are Japan, South Korea, China, India and the United States.


  • In 2011 the number of intercontinental passengers increased by 347,000, a figure which represents a rise of 16.8% over 2010.


  • The number of intercontinental destinations and frequencies rose by a total of 184 weekly frequencies in summer 2011.


Barcelona, 19 March 2012.-  The Barcelona Air Route Development Committee (BARDC) is to present the BARDC Strategic Plan for 2012 - 2013. This new plan continues along the lines of the 2010 – 2011 plan, despite introducing certain changes due to what was learned in the previous period.

The Plan sets the priority aims of working to achieve new air links with the following strategic markets: Japan, South Korea, China, India and the United States. It also establishes a line of work to open more links with countries in the Persian Gulf and South America.

All in all, the lines laid down by the Plan will mean a certain Asian shift in the main markets to be worked on after the success achieved with the routes to Sao Paulo and Miami –historical demands by the BARDC – and the rise in capacity on the routes to the west coast of the United States in recent years. Even though the American routes continue to be a priority for the BARDC, connecting with Asian markets is the great aim to be achieved during this period. While North America is the first intercontinental market out of Barcelona in terms of passenger volume, Asia – Pacific is the main destination market of the air exports out of Barcelona–El Prat Airport.

Likewise, in an environment of economic crisis, it is also worth maintaining already existing routes. The BARDC will also continue to work along this line, maintaining dynamic, continued contact with the intercontinental airlines that operate out of Barcelona.

As well as these direct aspects of long-haul flights, it is worth reinforcing the activity in aspects that will provide support to these air links, such as improving the connectivity of long-haul flights from the airport or working together with the Ministry of Economic Development in order to improve the conditions of the bilateral agreements or the administrative procedures to obtain a visa. Additionally it is necessary to work on increasing air freight (whereby the land logistics chain is vital) and it is also advisable to increase collaboration with other first level transport infrastructures for passengers and freight such as the ZAL and the Port de Barcelona.


Assessment of 2010 – 2011

In 2010 the BARDC presented its Strategic plan for 2010-2011, which determined the general lines of action of this committee related to promoting long-haul air routes from Barcelona. During the period of application of this first BARDC Strategic Plan (2010 – 2011) remarkable success was achieved in intercontinental traffic out of Barcelona, increasing the number of routes, the capacity and the number of direct intercontinental passengers out of the airport.

The number of frequencies rose by 54 in the summer and 14 in the winter in the period ranging from summer 2009 to winter 2011. This rise in frequencies was accompanied by new air links such as the new routes to Sao Paulo, Miami or Qatar. During 2011, for the first time, El Prat was connected to 34 intercontinental airports and, also for the first time, 25 air lines operated intercontinental flights from Barcelona Airport.

Nevertheless, the most notable increase was in the capacity of the airport, which went from 610,000 seats in summer 2009 to almost 1,000,000 in summer 2011. This fact represents a rise of 58% in the intercontinental capacity of Barcelona in two years.

The total passenger numbers in 2011 was 34.4 million passengers, which represents a growth of 17.8% with respect to 2010. The great generator of this rise of 5.2 million passengers was the European traffic, even though the rest of the traffic also experienced notable rises. Direct intercontinental passengers rose by 347,144 passengers, reaching a total of 2,408,422 passengers. This means a growth of 16.8% over 2010.

The balance of the period 2010 – 2011 is markedly positive. Despite the disappearance of some intercontinental routes (Luxor and the destinations of the disappeared Jade Cargo) and the drop in frequencies and operators with North Africa during 2011 because of the Arab Spring (Casablanca, Marrakech, Nader and Tunisia), the number of intercontinental destinations out of Barcelona increased. New long-haul routes were achieved with the Americas, Asia, Africa and the Middle East (Bamako, Chicago, Doha, Miami, Sal, Sao Paulo). Significant rises in frequencies or capacity (larger aircraft) were common in this period.


BARDC actions during 2011

In order to favour these results, the BARDC carried out a series of activities throughout the year. As well as the customary continued contact with airlines, the BARDC organized meetings with alliances: the CEOs and heads of route planning of Star Alliance met with members of the BARDC in Barcelona and workshops with the heads of sales of the Sky Team alliance companies were held.

During 2011 support actions for companies with missions in the Middle East and China were also carried out, visiting the main companies and airports, as well as communication actions such as the launch of the blog Fly To Barcelona ( in order to improve the diffusion of relevant information for foreign journalists and airlines interested in flying to the city. The novelties regarding the airlines operating in Barcelona were also published and work was carried out with the aim of achieving new flights for the city. These activities contributed consistently to the rise in flights and frequencies at Barcelona Airport. The new flights to Sao Paulo, Miami and Qatar confirm this.

Despite having an important demand for long-haul intercontinental traffic, Barcelona has a relatively low number of long-haul routes. Most of the intercontinental passengers out of Barcelona have to fly indirectly stopping over in other airports in order to reach their destination. This is the fundamental reason that led to the creation of the Barcelona Air Route Development Committee (BARDC) in 2005.


Work Plan 2012

In 2012, the BARDC will organize missions to Asian countries such as South Korea, Japan, and China. What is more, it will attend the customary fairs for the industry such as Routes. In June, the IATA Slot Conference will be organized in Barcelona owing to the effort of the BARDC, an event that will be attended by over 1000 delegates from over 200 airlines from all over the world.

In terms of annual activities, the BARDC will allocate resources to stimulate intercontinental connectivity and air freight in Barcelona, following its aims to achieve more and better direct traffic out of Barcelona–El Prat Airport.


Here you can find all details:

BARDC Strategic Plan 2012 - 2013



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Barcelona Air Route Development Committee promotes Barcelona Airport intercontinental flights.