Barcelona-El Prat Airport has taken a further step towards environmental sustainability by obtaining a favourable rating for the greenhouse gas emissions produced by its activity, also known as carbon footprint.
The favourable report, issued by the accredited organization Aenor, verifies the map of greenhouse gas emissions corresponding to 2010 at the airport, according to ISO 14064. In this manner, Barcelona-El Prat Airport is accredited by Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA), a voluntary programme for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to which around thirty European airports are subscribed.
The ACA assesses and recognizes the efforts made by airports to reduce CO2 emissions associated with their activity, providing a common tool for the whole of Europe. In order to address the challenge of combating climate change, the airports involved carry out a wide range of actions on the sources that basically produce these emissions: energy consumption in buildings and facilities, passenger and staff transport, platform support vehicles, movement of aircraft on land and refrigerant consumption.
The ACA programme consists of four levels of accreditation (mapping, reduction, optimization and neutrality), with the final goal of accrediting the airport as “carbon neutral”. El Prat has recently obtained the first level, which corresponds to the mapping stage and requires the elaboration of the facilities’ carbon footprint.
In order to attain this level of accreditation, Barcelona-El Prat Airport carried out a description of the sources of emission within the operational limits of airport management and a calculation of annual carbon emissions. With this information, the carbon footprint was drawn up and was then verified by the independent organism Aenor.
The Minister of Development, Ana Pastor, has appointed Jose Manuel Vargas Gomez, as the new CEO-President of Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (AENA) to replace Juan Ignacio Lema.
José Manuel Vargas, born in Madrid in 1970, graduated in Economics from The Complutense University, Madrid and in Law from UNED.
The last stage of his career was carried out in the group Vocento, which he joined in 2000, taking several positions of responsibility. He was CEO for this company from 2008 to 2011, and previously chief financial officer and general counsel and secretary of the Board of ABC. Prior to that, he served as chief financial officer and secretary general of JOTSA, SA in the Philipp Holzmann Group from 1995 to 2000, and worked at Price Waterhouse Audit from 1993 to 1995.
The main task to be performed by José Manuel Vargas will be to define the new airport management model for Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona-El Prat, whose privatization the former Minister of Works, José Blanco had started to draw up.
Last week, currently responsible for this portfolio, Ana Pastor, spoke in this regard saying that privatization was not optimal for Aena "at the worst time for the Spanish economy, as had been about to happen."
As of 4 April, American Airlines and Iberia will increase the number of direct flights on their Barcelona-Miami route, from the three weekly flights they currently offer to five weekly flights initially, and to one daily flight as of 14 June.
The new daily flights are part of the joint venture agreement between American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia, like the daily connection between Barcelona and New York and all the flights between Europe (the European Union, Norway and Switzerland) and North America (Canada, the USA and Mexico).
The flights will be operated by American Airlines with Boeing B767-300 aircraft with 221 seats, 30 of which will be Business class and 292 in the main cabin. American Airlines Business class is designed to offer passengers more comfort, flexibility and privacy. The seats unfold into horizontal beds, are arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration, and have on-board audio and video entertainment equipment on demand, innovative cabin lighting and elegantly designed ergonomic overhead compartments for hand luggage.
The flights will connect Barcelona-El Prat Airport with the American Airlines hub in Miami, where passengers can connect with 47 other destinations in the USA and 58 more in the Caribbean and Latin America region.
Members of the Iberia and American Airlines frequent flier programmes will also be able to benefit from the agreement between both companies in this service, by accumulating and exchanging air miles, as well as upgrading opportunities and access to joint promotions.
Manuel López Aguilar, Iberia’s executive VP Commercial and Clients, declared “this is good news for our customers in the Catalan market. Owing to the joint venture agreement between Iberia and American Airlines, we can increase the number of long-haul flights out of El Prat, and offer our customers more and better travelling opportunities”.
Nieves Rodríguez, American Airlines’ Country Manager Sales Spain and Portugal, stated that “we are delighted to expand our services out of Barcelona with this daily flight to Miami and to work in close collaboration with our partner, Iberia. Barcelona is one of the most important tourist destinations in Europe, as well as being a city with a prosperous business community, and our already existing route between Barcelona and New York has been a great success since it was launched in 2008. We couldn’t give greater support to the importance Barcelona and Catalonia have for American Airlines than by adding a new route”.
Initially, the new service will operate five days a week (except for Mondays and Wednesdays) and will increase to a daily frequency as of 14 June. The schedules for the summer season are as follows:
* Aeromexico confirm they will resume their operations out of Barcelona as of June-July 2012.
* Aerolíneas Argentinas will extend connections between Barcelona and Buenos Aires to a daily flight.
The International Tourism Fair (FITUR) celebrated its 32nd edition with the aim of contributing to boost the tourist market. The event, which took place between 18 and 22 of January at Feria de Madrid, concentrated all its effort on fomenting its qualities as a commercial platform as well as its different tools to stimulate the revitalization of a sector which, despite difficulties, has shown its strength.
This meeting of the tourism industry, which gathered over 9,500 companies from 167 countries/regions, brought about for another year the creation of the most efficient environment to generate synergies and open up new business opportunities.
Within the wide range meeting in FITUR, Latin America is the market the Fair is the benchmark event for as a gateway to Europe. In this context, members of the Barcelona Air Route Development Committee made the most of their participation in this meeting to hold several strategic meetings with representatives of airlines from this region.
By way of significant events, Aeromexico confirmed to the Committee their commitment to resume operations from Barcelona as of June-July this very year, as well as the sale of its tickets, which are already on sale and, meanwhile, Aerolineas Argentinas informed of their intentions to extend their current connection with Buenos Aires to a daily flight, coinciding with the incorporation in their fleet of a new A-340, specially designed for operating intercontinental flights.
Barcelona Air Route Development Committee welcomes both communications which, undoubtedly, will help foment the CDRA’s main aim: to obtain a network of international flights better suited to Barcelona’s needs and real potential.
Catalonia in 2011 beat its record of income from foreign tourism, with 11,300 million euros, an increase of 7.8% over the previous year, announced the CEO of Tourism for the Catalan Government (the Generalitat), Marian Muro, in Fitur yesterday.
All in all, last year Catalonia received 23.5 million tourists, including foreigners, Catalans and from the rest of Spain, representing an increase of 5.7% over 2010. In particular, tourists from the rest of Spain stood at 4.2 million, up 6.4%, and Catalans at 5.6 million, up 7.6%. Total overnight stays rose by 2.7%: tourists from the rest of Spain grew by 13% and Catalans by 7.9%, while foreign tourists dropped 5.4%.
Muro, accompanied by the director of the Catalan Agency for Tourism (ACT), Xavier Espasa, assessed income figures as a "record landmark" in the Government’s target to prioritize "quality tourism" above the number of visitors.
The general director of Tourism stated that the main priority for the Government is to promote domestic tourism and increase the number of tourists from the rest of Spain. The director of the ACT, Xavier Espasa, said one of the markets to boost is Asia, particularly India and China, whereby he stressed the need to make flight connections to Barcelona. Espasa declared the Department of Tourism is working with the Department of Territory and Sustainability in order to close deals with Asian airlines and said they are negotiating with companies such as China Southern Airlines and Air Asia. Russian tourists remain a priority for Catalonia, after 2011 in which a record number of visitors was reached, with 625,000, which represents 70% of all Russians visiting Spain.
Muro made a positive balance of 2011 and identified as major targets for this year, the regulation of travel agencies, adoption of new regulations on tourist use housing, and establishment of a categorization of apartments, as has been done with accommodation in rural areas. She also stressed the need to focus on tourist information offices, as it has been claimed that "they have not been afforded the proper attention by the Administration," and explained that they will provide more segmented information and will be marketed for the first time.
The Minister of Tourism considered the tourist office which opened in New York last year a "success" and announced that agreements have been reached with Fira de Barcelona and the Catalan Government Delegation in Madrid to incorporate an office in the Gran Via. In line with enhancing the quality and competitiveness of SMEs in the sector, the Department of Tourism this year will keep up a line of soft loans to the sector through the Catalan Finance Institute (ICF), which will increase from six million euros in 2011 to 11.5 million in 2012.
Artur Mas and Javier Monzón, president of the technology company, signed an agreement on Thursday to build an aviation training centre at Barcelona Airport
As of 2013, commercial airline pilots will be able to receive training at Barcelona Airport. They will do it in one of Indra’s most cutting-edge simulators: the A 320, which trains professionals to fly an Airbus 320, the standard aircraft for short and medium haul distances. It will be the star element of the future aviation training centre at El Prat, the construction of which will start on Thursday after the cooperation agreement between the President of the Catalan Government (the Generalitat), Artur Mas, and the technology group, Javier Monzón, has been signed.
Indra will develop and implement the infrastructure, while the Catalan Executive will provide the land. It has yet to be decided where it will be located, according to sources involved in the operation. The training centre is part of the public project to turn the land surrounding the airport into an aerospace park.
It will start with no direct competition in Catalonia. They shall have exclusive charge of training pilots and cabin staff in active employment. The other existing companies, such as the Aerolink group at Sabadell airport, focus on training future pilots, a very different profile to the multinational’s initial aim.
The Italian underwear company Calzedonia reaffirms its commitment to growth in Spain with the construction of a large head office in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona).
The group has acquired a building from the Grohe firm, next to Ikea and the Gran Via Fira de Barcelona on the Pedrosa industrial estate. The operation has been advised on by consultants Aguirre Newman.
The site has a surface area of 7,700 square metres and a building of almost 5,000 square metres which can be extended up to 9,500 square metres. Calzedonia, which already has its current head office for Spain in L'Hospitalet, is expected to extend the building to accommodate both office and product display area and a retail outlet.
According to market sources, Calzedonia currently employs 120 people on its Spanish premises and intends to double this figure to meet its expansion plans in Spain.
Grohe is expected to leave the building when it finds a new location, according to sources close to the operation.
According to the latest industrial and logistics market report prepared by Aguirre Newman, the purchase price in the logistics sector in the metropolitan area of Barcelona ranges between 1,200 and 1,400 euros per square metre. The Pedrosa industrial estate in l'Hospitalet is considered the most expensive in the Catalonia region, owing to its proximity to Barcelona.
The Italian multinational Calzedonia, managed by Italian businessman Sandro Veronesi, sells men's, women's and children’s underwear through the Calzedonia, Intimissimi and Tezenis brands. He has more than 1,400 stores around the world. The company was founded in 1987 in Vallese di Oppeano, near Verona. It has factories in Italy, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and Sri Lanka. The chain last year announced the launch of sixty stores in Spain, mainly Calzedonia but also Intimissimi and Tezenis. It is the group with the second largest presence in Portal de l'Angel - the most expensive street in Spain - after Inditex.
Emirates informs that as of 3 July 2012 they will be adding Barcelona as their second destination in Spain to their widespread network of worldwide routes.
Flight EK 185, which will link Barcelona to Dubai, will leave Barcelona-El Prat at 16:40h to arrive in Dubai at 01:00h the following day, with excellent connections to Asia, Australia, Africa and the Indian Ocean. This will also be operated with the 360 seat B777-300ER aircraft in three classes: Economy (310 seats), Business (42 seats) and First (8 private suites). This means Emirates will offer a weekly total of 2,520 seats between Catalonia and the UAE, a strong boost to tighten economic, tourist and cultural links between both destinations.
Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline commented: “Emirates is making a very significant investment in Spain. Since the start of our operations in Madrid we have reaped excellent results and have detected a large enough demand for a second daily flight from Madrid and to incorporate flights from the dynamic region of Catalonia”.
The flights are already available for booking at emirates.es or from Travel agencies.
Flight Origin Destination Departure Arrival
EK185 Dubai Barcelona 06:55h 12:00h
EK 186 Barcelona Dubai 16:40h 01:00h*
(*) following day
About the Emirates Group
The Emirates Group is a vast organization with multiple business interests in the aviation, travel, tourism and leisure industries. With over 57,000 employees in 50 business units and associate enterprises, the Emirates Group is one of the largest employers in the region and offers specialized services that cover practically all the areas of the market.
Emirates operates flights to 118 destinations in 70 countries in Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the Pacific-Asia region. Emirates, with its head offices in Dubai, has a float of 167 aircraft including 20 A380.
Other areas of the Emirates Group include Dnata, Mercator, Transguard and EmQuest Emirates SkyCargo, Destination & Leisure Management (D&LM), managed by Emirates Holidays and Arabian Adventures and the loyalty programme Skywards.
The Catalan company Intelligent Pharma, a spin-off of the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) founded in 2007 and located in the Barcelona Science Park, announced Thursday the opening of new premises in Cambridge (USA), its third international subsidiary in two years.
The company, focused on the development, marketing and use of new technologies in computational chemistry and artificial intelligence for drug discovery, also has premises in the Technologiepark Heidelberg in Germany and in Welwyn Garden City Biopark in the UK.
The biotech company, founded by engineer Igansi Belda, has achieved a customer base including most Spanish pharmaceuticals and public research institutions, as well as having a strong portfolio of customers in the UK, U.S. and Mexico.
Disney Cruises have confirmed their return to the Mediterranean in 2013, where they will have their base port in Barcelona for their ship "Disney Magic". The company offers Mediterranean cruises in alternate years, always based in the Catalan capital and after operating here in 2011 the U.S. company will come back in 2013.
"Disney Magic" will start its travels in the Mediterranean from Barcelona on 1st June, 2013. Tickets for these cruises can be already booked as of today, Thursday, on the Disney Cruise website, as announced by the company.
"From our home port in Barcelona, Spain, and depending on the itinerary, we will travel to places like France, Italy, Greece, Malta, Mallorca, Croatia and Turkey," says the company, which offers trips of three or four nights, seven and twelve nights.
Disney Cruise Line claims the itineraries are designed to experience European landmarks like the Coliseum in Rome, the Parthenon in Athens or the Grand Canal in Venice, among other monuments.
In addition, Disney Cruise Line has scheduled a 14-night transatlantic voyage to depart on May 18, 2013 from the Bahamas to Barcelona, stopping at five ports and spending eight days at sea.