Users of the Skyscanner flight comparison site are showing sky-high demand for a Barcelona-Seoul service with 325,000 searches in 2015. anna.aero favours Korean Air to start the route over Iberia as demand from the Seoul end rocketed at the end of last year to reach almost 40,000 Skyscanner searches in December alone. A statue featuring Psy’s “horse-riding” dance move is being erected outside the COEX shopping centre in Seoul’s Gangnam district where the video was made – 2.4 billion downloads make it the most watched YouTube video of all time.
With rocketing outbound demand mainly coming from the Seoul end of the route – almost 40,000 searches in December alone – this route looks like an obvious candidate for Korean Air, although the SkyTeam carrier hasn’t launched a long-haul service since May 2014 when it began daily 777-200 services to Houston. Indeed, Barcelona currently only has limited connections to Asia: Singapore Airlines offers a thrice-weekly service, with MEB3 carriers Emirates and Qatar Airways both offering double-daily links via their respective hubs.
Clearly, this lack of Asian services at Barcelona represents a great prospect for Korean Air to feed its own Asian hub at Seoul Incheon, which currently boasts a network of 91 non-stop destinations (according to OAG schedule data), although the 325,000 Skyscanner searches suggest the route could easily be sustained simply as a point-to-point service.
Volotea has begun a complete rollover of its fleet with the arrival of its first Airbus A319.
It is understood that the shortage of available Boeing 717s, together with the larger seating capacity of the A319, has persuaded Volotea to begin a wholesale shift to the European aircraft.
It said in a statement that reliability, good operating economics and passenger experience were reasons for the switch.
The first was handed over to Volotea at Toulouse last week and the carrier will take delivery of a further three this year. The first four A319s will be based at Nantes, in western France.
“We intend to renew our fleet of Boeing 717s with the Airbus A319 over the next two to three years,” the company said. Additional aircraft would also be acquired to accommodate growth.
Like its existing Boeing 717s, Volotea intends to lease its new fleet, with the early examples coming from lessors AerCap and GECAS.
The company is working with reports regarding flying to the city. The firm will double the fleet by 2020 focusing on strengthening its presence in the major European and North American capitals.
With routes between Barajas Airport and the cities of Jeddah and Riyadh, the company wants more. "Our main goal is to grow to one flight per day as opposed to the four per week we have now," illustrated the Director of Sales and Marketing, Maria Gonzalez, to 02B. The second, to land in Barcelona.
The city is covered in the expansion plan through 2020. "We are very optimistic; it is an attractive destination for both the customer who wants to come on holiday and for the business traveller”, she explained. The firm is working with internal report that ecommend linking El Prat with the Persian Gulf country non-stop, something non-existent to date. "We are talking about the largest state in the area to a city like BCN, of course there would be traffic", she proclaimed.
In addition, opening a second destination in Spain falls within the logic of the latest moves of the company. "In 2014 we started to fly to Manchester, and in July we will do so to Munich", she illustrated. The UK and Germany, where they are already present in London and Frankfurt.
Competing with Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways "is possible".
The Saudi Arabian firm has three high-ranking rivals to fly to the Persian Gulf. Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways have a strong position that is virtually unattainable for other airlines. "Of course we can compete with them," challenges the director. To begin with, by 2020 we expect to double the fleet, and have already begun to receive new Dreamliner 787s.
While it is true that they are complicated routes, Gonzalez is clear, "The market is large enough for everyone". The cake is large; in 2030 there are expected to be 1,800 million international tourists, twice as many as in 2010 .
Routes Asia has opened in Manila, Philippines with renewed calls for regulators and airports to address infrastructure issues in the region with senior executives of some of the region’s fastest-growing airlines highlighting it as one of the biggest issues still impacting growth and development in the region.
Routes Asia has opened in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, with renewed calls for regulators and airports to address infrastructure issues in the region with senior executives of some of the region’s fastest-growing airlines highlighting it as one of the biggest issues still impacting growth and development in the region.
Speaking on the opening afternoon at the event’s Strategy Summit on March 6, 2016, in a panel session entitled ‘What Asia Needs Right Now Is…’, IATA Regional Vice-President Asia-Pacific and panel moderator Conrad Clifford said 100 million passengers were expected to enter into the Asia-Pacific market each year for the next 20 years. However, members of the panel warned this prediction could fail to materialise unless the region’s problems with infrastructure were quickly addressed.
Andrew Cowen, Chief Executive Officer, HK Express said: “Infrastructure is the biggest issue. There’s a mismatch in our opinion… in the time line for airports. What we are all seeing, understand and accept is the low-cost carriers in general are creating a lot of new demand that’s not really picked up in these bigger forecast models for future infrastructure. We really need to address that.”
Joy Caneba, Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia Philippines added that better infrastructure would also make it easier for airlines to operate more effectively, a strategy that is particularly important for budget operators which are seeking to minimise to develop as efficient an arrivals and departure process to keep costs to a minimum.
Alexander Lao, Vice President Commercial Planning, Cebu Pacific agreed the issue needed resolving but warned airports not to pass on new problems to the airlines. “We do want to see a lot of private investors in airports but we do stand against commissions and runway fees and it becoming more expensive to operate,” he said.
Lao added that airports also needed to consider capacity growth and the ability to deliver the required projects on time and said the future needs of the growing market could also be met by not simply focusing on the region’s primary airports.
“It is really critical for us to develop secondary airports,” he added, noting that this would also help airlines help keep ticketing prices down – a vital issue in a market known for its price sensitivity.
The panel’s sole airport representative, Andrew Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of Mactan-Cebu International Airport in the Philippines said one way airports could keep costs down is by looking at including more commercial options at the facilities, such as increasing the number of shops. “The airports need to work together to deliver projects and services that meet the clients’ requirements. They can’t be too expensive,” he said.
Source: routesonline.com/ 2016-03-06
Posted by flytobarcelona.org
Barcelona Air Route Development Committee
promotes Barcelona Airport intercontinental flights
Norwegian in summer 2016 season is boosting operations in Barcelona, as both Norwegian Air International unit (D8) adding new routes and frequencies. Norwegian Air Shuttle (DY) will also operate additional flights on selected routes.
Barcelona – Copenhagen eff 14JUN16 Increase from 14 to 17 weekly, new flights operated by D8 (7 weekly DY, 10 weekly D8)
Barcelona – Las Palmas/Gran Canaria eff 27MAR16 Increase from 3 to 6 weekly, all service operated by D8
Barcelona – Tenerife North eff 27MAR16 Increase from 4 to 6 weekly, all service operated by D8
-Passengers on international routes increased 22%.
-Over 19,800 operations, 13.3% increase.
-Girona Airport in February also increased the number of users, by 6.6%.
Barcelona-El Prat Airport closed February with 2,672,365 passengers, a 20.4% increase over the same period last year. Also, in the first two months of the year, 5,189,579 passengers were recorded, 17.4% more than the same period in 2015.
Intercontinental passengers were the ones that grew most in February, up 22% compared to the same month in 2015, while national passengers rose 16.9%.
As for intercontinental routes, the largest increases occurred in passenger flights within Latin America, with a growth of 31.5%, followed by the Middle East with 31.4%, and North America, with 20.7%.
Regarding operations, during the month of February a total of 19,843 take-offs and landings were recorded at Barcelona-El Prat Airport, 13.3% more than in February 2015. In the year to date, a total of 39,175 movements have been operated, a figure that represents an increase of 9.4%.
Finally, airfreight continues to grow at the start of the year. Last month over 10,351 tonnes were moved, representing an increase of 18.3% over the same period in 2015. Cargo to/from national destinations is the fastest growing, up 32.3%, followed by cargo on international routes which increased by 17.6%.
In the first two months of the year, Barcelona-El Prat Airport totalled 19,625 tonnes of cargo, which is 18.6% more than last year.
Girona Airport closed February with 6.6% more users
Meanwhile, passenger traffic at Girona Airport reached 51,681 users in February, representing an increase of 6.6% over the same month in 2015. Of this total, 50,507 were passengers on commercial flights, 49,987 of whom were traveling on international flights (+ 5%) and 529 on domestic flights.
In the year to date, there have been 98,968 passengers, 1.2% increase over the figures recorded in the same period last year.
Regarding the number of operations, the Girona facility recorded 915 take-offs and landings in February, 7.8% more than in the same month in 2015.
Posted by flytobarcelona.org
Armenia Airline to Launch its First Flight on April 21
The recently-established Armenia airline will make its first flights to Israel and Russia on April 21, the company’s president Tamaz Gaiashvili told a news conference today in Yerevan.
He said the airline has already received a certificate of the Chief Civil Aviation Department (CCDA) for operation of aircraft and is now going through the final stage of obtaining a certificate for operating regular commercial flights.
He said the maiden flights are scheduled for April 21 in two directions – Tel Aviv and Moscow, after which they will start operating regular flights to Tehran, Dubai, Prague, Kiev, Minsk, Barcelona, London and Larnaca.
He added that the geography of flights will be expanding to the Russian cities of Sochi, Rostov-on-Don, Mineralnye Vody and Samara and later to Germany and Italy. He also said that the prices of air tickets will not be very expensive. According to him, the highest price for a ticket to any destination will be 49 euros and about 96 euros including all the fees and taxes.
Unlike low-cost airlines there will be no restrictions on passengers’ luggage weight; the passengers will be provided also with meals, but the tickets cannot be exchanged for another date or given back. He also said that the airline will begin scheduled flights with three leased Boeing 737, but plans to expand its fleet to five aircraft in July and eight by the end of the year. In the future, the airline plans to acquire a CRJ aircraft.
“The average age of our fleet of aircraft will not exceed 15 years; they will undergo maintenance at the Lufthansa in Germany,” said Gaiashvili.
He refused to voice any figures, including the amount of investments made. Gaiashvili also denied media allegations that Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan holds 50% of the new airline.
“Neither the prime minister nor any representatives of the Armenian leadership is among the founders of the airline,” Gaiashvili said, adding that such rumors are being circulated to damage the new airline.
According to him, given Armenia’s geopolitical location it has no alternative to the development of aviation. As an example, he mentioned the Russian-Georgian war in August 2008, when all airlines stopped flights to Tbilisi, with the exception of the national carrier Georgian Airlines.
“Aviation is an essential resource for Armenia, there is a good market and the spread of such rumors do not contribute to its formation,” said Gaiashvili.
The founders of the airline, according to CCAD are Ashot Torosyan (51%), Gaiashvili (25%) and Robert Hovhannisyan (24%). Gaiashvili is the founder of the Georgian airline Airzena. He was chairman of its Board of Directors, while Hovhannisyan was his deputy.
According to reports in the Armenian media, most of the employees of the new airline will be staffed by Airzena’s personnel. It will also use Airzena’s fleet.