North America is the main transoceanic market from Barcelona. It represents 38% of all direct intercontinental passengers out of Barcelona. Without taking into account the passengers travelling to North Africa, this percentage comes to over half of the total. The volume of passengers between North America and Barcelona has not ceased to increase in recent years, reaching 930,000 direct passengers in 2011. If we add indirect passengers, this figure reaches a total of 1.25 million passengers between Barcelona and this continent. What is more, it is a market in expansion. The inter-annual variation of direct passengers this last year was 32.3% and the mean growth over the last 5 years was 22.3%, higher, even, than the high mean intercontinental growth from Barcelona. The North American market has doubled its number of direct passengers to Barcelona in the last 5 years.


The United States is Barcelona’s main intercontinental market. Nearly a million passengers (995,000) flew between the US and Barcelona in 2011. Of these, 728,000 flew directly between Barcelona and an American airport, in many cases connecting with another domestic flight. Direct passenger numbers with this country have practically doubled in recent years, with a greater increase than total passenger numbers. Barcelona Airport is becoming better and better connected with the United States market.

This fact is a direct consequence of the strong growth of the direct connections between Barcelona and the North American market (Mexico, Canada and the US). With the notable exception of Iberia, most of the airlines that operate these routes are American. The important commitment of these companies to the Catalan market has led to the number of their connections with Barcelona rising from 31 weekly frequencies in the summer of 2007, operated by 4 airlines; to 61 weekly frequencies operated by 9 airlines in summer 2012. Barcelona has gone from having direct connections with 6 airports in summer 2007 to having 9 in summer 2012.  


North America is the second largest region in the world in terms of air freight out of Barcelona, only exceeded by Asia–Pacific. 20% of air exports from Barcelona have their point of destination on this continent. Four out of the fifteen main destination airports for air exports out of Barcelona are North American, with New York as the main destination airport for air freight out of Barcelona.

Of all the American companies present in the Spanish market, 41.2% are in Catalonia. In 2011, freight traffic with the US was worth 3,884 million euros, a value representing 27.6% of the total freight traffic between Spain and the US. After the drop in traffic as a result of the credit crunch, above all in 2009, trade with the US has shown a rising trend since 2010. In this sense, the weighted average growth of freight traffic between Catalonia and the US was 12.5% in the last two years. 

Despite all the results obtained, there is still a market to be covered, and from the Barcelona Air Route Development Committee (BARDC) work is being carried out in order to achieve an increase in the connections with the large destinations in the North American market that do not yet operate out of Barcelona such as Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles or the market of Washington; as well as improving the offer on existing routes with destinations that are already covered such as Chicago and New York.

Finally, the rise in frequencies contributes to increase the volume of cruise passengers in Barcelona even more. The United States is the main source market for cruise passengers who embark in Barcelona. The new frequencies reinforce the existing synergies between the Port and Barcelona–El Prat Airport, strengthening its strategic position in the market.


BARDC would like the American Airlines and Iberia routes to Barcelona, presented at the press event today in Casa Llotja de Mar, to be consolidated and for the companies to continue growing in our airport in the future, whether with a rise in frequencies on their existing routes or by operating one of the many profitable routes that remain to be opened from Barcelona.


Source: BARDC Secretariat from data furnished by AENA 


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Barcelona Air Route Development Committee promotes Barcelona Airport intercontinental flights.