In October, exports of Spanish textiles were up 53.5% compared to the same month in 2010, according to data released by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism. Foreign sales alone in October reached € 1.07 million or 5.5% of all Spanish exports. Exports of the clothing subsector soared even more, with a year-on-year increase in October of 93.1%, reaching € 776 million.
Clothing exports, which were up 16.2%, led the increase, followed by increases in the textile industry as a whole (16.6%) and the leather and footwear industry (10.1%). In each of the three cases, the increases in exports registered higher than those of imports.
- International traffic from outside the EU is the fastest growing with 24.1%, whereas there is a rise of 16.8% in passengers on long-haul flights
- The T2 terminal closes 2011 with over 10 million passengers, exceeding figures for the year of the Olympics
- Over 300,000 operations carried out
Barcelona-El Prat Airport reached a new passenger record with nearly 34.4 million by the end of 2011. Specifically, the airport recorded 34,399,180 users, 5.1 million more than the total number of passengers in 2010, resulting in an increase of 17.8%. This figure is the culmination of a record year for the Catalan facility, which reached 33 million passengers on 15 December, beating the figures for 2007. Besides, for first time, there were over 3 million passengers per month for six consecutive months.
In the analysis of statistical data for the whole of 2011, the strongest growth in passengers was in international traffic from outside the EU, with an increase of 24.1% over the previous year. In addition, the final count of long-haul flight users rose by 16.8% compared to 2010.
Along these lines, there is outstanding growth in markets in Latin America, with 64.9% more passengers than in 2010 due to the increased frequency of Aerolineas Argentinas to Buenos Aires and the new routes to Sao Paulo opened by Singapore Airlines/Spanair and Iberia in 2011; the Middle East, with an increase of 40.6%, most notably the growth of passengers to Doha through Qatar Airways; and North America, up 29.9% on the routes to the United States, Canada and Mexico. It is also worth noting the rise in the Russian market, which in 2011 grew 53%.
Other data 2011 closes with another key figure. Throughout last year, 10,342,203 passengers passed through the T2 terminal of Barcelona-El Prat Airport, a key figure exceeding the 10,026,244 achieved in ‘92, when one of the greatest expansions of the installation was carried out, coinciding with the celebration of the Olympic Games in Barcelona.
In the area of aircraft operations, the airport closed the annual total count with over 300,000 operations. Specifically, there were 303,047 movements, a figure 9.1% higher than in 2010. For the month of December, 21 932 landings and take-offs were made, representing 3.3% more than the last month of the previous year.
8,055,332 kg of goods was handled in December at Barcelona-El Prat Airport, 6% down on December 2010. In the full-year total, on the other hand, 96,568,611 kg of goods was handled, an amount 7.4% lower than the previous year.
Planned Spanish start-up Volotea has secured "substantial and adequate funding" from three private equity firms, and aims to launch operations to secondary cities in Southern Europe this spring.
The proposed carrier, which is led by Carlos Muñoz and Lázaro Ros - the founders of Barcelona-based low-cost carrier Vueling - has applied for its air operator's certificate and leased a Boeing 717 from Boeing Capital.
Volotea plans to operate an all-717 fleet "with the goal of providing direct service and economic benefit to smaller, secondary cities in Southern Europe while avoiding the hubs of well-established carriers", said the airline.
Volotea has secured undisclosed funds from USA-based private equity firm CCMP Capital Partners, Madrid-based Axis Participaciones Empresariales and Sinaer Inversiones - an aviation investment vehicle which is partly owned by Spanish private equity group Corpfin Capital.
The latter was involved in the management buyout of Aer Lingus's Spanish charter subsidiary Futura in 2002.
A Volotea spokesman said the carrier expects to receive its AOC in "just a few weeks". However, he declined to disclose any further details about the start-up's planned network.
According to the portal Modaes.es, Spanish fashion accessories are gaining ground in foreign markets. Since 2001, exports of Spanish handbags and other leather accessories have doubled, spurred on by the growth of specialized brands and fashion chains in international markets. From January to October 2011, Spanish companies exported € 401.1 million in small leather goods, a 98.8% increase with respect to the same period the previous year.
In countries like France, Portugal and Italy, primary export markets for Spanish small leather goods, Spanish accessories saw increased growth last year, with sales up 21.4%, the highest in the last ten years.
Except for 2003 when exports declined by 5.7% compared to the previous year, the increase in small leather goods exports has remained steady over the past decade. In addition to 2011, major growth was recorded in 2006 and 2007, when exports were up by 14.4% and 14.9%, respectively.
Spanish companies like Bimba & Lola and Urbaks are taking advantage of the accessories boom, while established clothing chain stores like Magno and Custo Barcelona diversify by entering this sector.
Inditex, the world´s largest fashion distribution company, launched Uterque, its accessories format. Mango, on the other hand, also launched an independent chain, Mango Touch, to expand with accessories.
The public posting of a sale and leaseback request for proposal (RFP) by Air India has provided a glimpse of the carrier's transaction for its Boeing 787s. It confirms the low prices the backlog was built on and raises questions about the timing of its deliveries.
With the carrier paying $109.6-$111.1 million for each of its first seven 787s, including engines, the prices underscore the steep discounts Boeing offered customers on several hundred of its 787-8s.
The deliveries, according to the filing, are 85% covered by financing by Ex-Im Bank of the USA and the balance by commercial financing sources.
Excluding the General Electric GEnx-1B engines, listed as costing $16 million each, Air India is paying about the $76 million average price per airframe assigned to the first 330-500 aircraft.
Also, the final sale price includes contractual escalation and inflation, those familiar with Boeing's contract structure said, rising on increased commodity prices from the contract signed in December 2005 for 27 787s. Based on inflation of the US dollar alone, the 2005 sale price would be about $94 million.
The low 787 pricing when combined with the extended development and rising cost of the type means it will not be until 2015 at least that the cost of building each 787 falls below its purchase price.
This expectation is based on reaching 120 deliveries a year in 2014, building at a rate of 10 a month 23 months from now. Boeing should break even on its total 787 investment after delivering 1,100 aircraft.
For Air India, however, there remains the issue of obtaining its 787s. The RFP features specific delivery dates for the 787s and there are questions as to whether they will be ready in time.
The sale and leaseback offer posted on the airline's website states that VT-ANH, registered to Airplane 35, will be delivered at the end of January.
However, that target and the rest of its schedule appears unlikely to be realised with certification of the GEnx-1B powerplants yet to be completed.
Airplane 29 (VT-AND) will follow in March, Airplane 25 (-ANA) in April and Airplanes 26 (-ANB), 28 (-ANC), 30 (-ANE) and 32 (-ANG) in May and June. The readiness of many of these aircraft also remains in doubt as each requires significant post-certification re-work to prepare for delivery.
Malaysian long-haul low-cost carrier AirAsia X is suspending its services to London Gatwick and Paris Orly, as well as its flights to Mumbai and New Delhi.
"These changes will improve operating cost efficiencies and consolidate [AirAsia X's] network to focus on markets where it can build a leadership position in 2012," said short-haul low-cost carrier AirAsia's associate in a statement.
It plans to focus on its "core markets" in Australia, China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, and open up new services and add frequencies on existing ones, it added.
"AirAsia X remains focused on maintaining its global leadership position in the low cost, long-haul segment," said the airline's CEO Azran Osman-Rani in a statement.
"The continued high jet fuel prices and the weakening demand for air travel from Europe, brought about by the current economic situation together with exorbitant government taxes, have placed cost pressures on operating long-haul low-cost flights between Asia and Europe, compromising our ability to offer the low fares AirAsia X is known for."
He added that the implementation of the European Union's Emissions Trading System and the escalating Air Passenger Duty taxes in the UK, which are set to rise again in April, forced the airline's hand.
Visa restrictions for travel between India and Malaysia, and the increase in airport and handling charges in India, resulted in a "structure not conducive to the low-cost model", he added. The airline could reinstate the Mumbai and New Delhi services when these issues are resolved, he said.
AirAsia X's four-times weekly Kuala Lumpur-Mumbai services will be suspended on 31 January, the daily service to New Delhi will be reduced to four-times weekly in March and suspended from 22 March, the six-times weekly London service will be suspended on 31 March, and the four-times weekly Mumbai service on 30 March.
Spanish carrier Vueling is to invest €325 million ($414 million) at Barcelona's El Prat airport with the addition of four Airbus A320s and an Airbus A319 aircraft.
Vueling said it would offer 23 more routes than last year, including services to Lanzarote, San Sebastian and Almeria in Spain; Lourdes in France; Malmö in Sweden; Nuremberg in Germany; Edinburgh and Southampton in the UK; Stavanger in Norway; and Split in Croatia.
The airline will begin flights to San Sebastian and Almeria from the end of March and to Lourdes, Malmö, Lanzarote, Nuremberg, Edinburgh, Stavanger, Southampton and Split from 22 June.
Vueling said it plans to operate thrice weekly flights to Nuremberg, Split, Almeria, Southampton and Edinburgh. It will also fly daily to San Sebastian, four times weekly to Lanzarote and twice weekly to Lourdes and Stavanger.
According to the Spanish National Statistics Institute (INE), service industry exports rose 0.6% in 3Q 2011 compared to the same period the previous year. At the same time, imports declined by a 5.9% annual rate during the third quarter.
By subsector, government and insurance services exports saw the highest gains, with a 27.8% and 25.7% annual rate, respectively. Accumulated service industry sales abroad in the first three quarters of 2011 increased 1.7% compared to the previous year.
Exports to Belgium, France and the Netherlands were up; and outside of the Eurozone, gains were registered in the Americas, notably South America where growth was up by 26.5%.
The car terminal at the port of Barcelona last year handled 387,000 units
The car terminal at the port of Barcelona, Autoterminal, handled just over 387,000 units over last year. This figure represents an increase of 20% compared to 2010 but, as acknowledged by the company CEO, Jacinto Seguí, is still far from the performance achieved "in a normal year, such as 2005 or 2006" which means the result is 21% below pre-crisis figures.
In 2011, Barcelona-based Vueling carried 12.3 million passengers (up 11.6% on the previous year) on a fleet of 40-plus A320s.
The airline’s main centre of operations is Barcelona’s El Prat airport from where, unlike its low-cost rivals, it operates from the impressive new terminal which opened in 2009. Barcelona is also possibly the only airport in Europe served by all seven of Europe’s leading LCCs. According to AENA statistics Vueling was by far the biggest carrier at the airport handling almost 7.8 million of the airport’s 34.3 million passengers, giving it a market share of around 23%. Spanair (4.3 million), Ryanair (3.4 million) and easyJet (2.4 million) were the next biggest carriers at the airport.
Barcelona based fleet to grow from 23 to 28 aircraft
Vueling recently confirmed that this summer its Barcelona based fleet will grow by five aircraft, from 23 to 28 aircraft, representing capacity growth of around 20%. It will also include an A319 to complement the existing A320s. The number of destinations served non-stop will rise from 47 to 70, with the launch of over 20 new routes.
A couple of destinations served last summer (Ciudad Real and Jerez) have been dropped for this summer. New routes on which Vueling will face direct competition from other carriers include Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Lanzarote, Lyon, Marseille, Munich, Nice, Stavanger and Stockholm. The Almeria and San Sebastian services will replace existing Iberia Regional flights.