JT Barcelona El Prat Airport recovers the majority of intercontinental flights in summer 2023

JT Barcelona El Prat Airport recovers the majority of intercontinental flights in summer 2023

 The city of Barcelona is the fifth city in terms of total passenger traffic during the period February 2022-2023.

A total of 46 different intercontinental destinations will be operated during summer 2023, 98% of the total number of destinations recorded before the impact of Covid-19 in 2019.

Sustainability in aviation is moving forward with different initiatives starting with SAFs (Sustainable Aviation Fuels).

Barcelona airport accumulated 14.2 million passengers from January to April 2023, a 43% growth compared to the same period in 2022. This volume is still below the volume of passengers before the pandemic in the same period by -5.7%.

During this summer season 2023,  there will be a total of 46 destinations planned at JT Barcelona El Prat airport, almost recovering in number the total of 47 intercontinental destinations that occurred before the pandemic. This summer 2023 we highlight the opening with Asia thanks to the 3 weekly connections to Beijing and the 7 weekly frequencies to Seoul. The intercontinental destinations that have not recovered after the pandemic and which should be a priority due to their volume and economic importance are Hong Kong and Seoul.

The volume of seats this summer season is high with 18 million seats which represents a 10% growth compared to summer 2022 but still -9% compared to the total number of seats offered in summer 2019 before the pandemic.

At the city level, Barcelona ranks fifth in Europe (a city can have several airports) in terms of traffic to and from the city of Barcelona in the period February 2022-February 2023. The figures also show that Barcelona Airport remains the seventh European airport in terms of total air passenger traffic, just below Madrid. What is more, in the period February 2022-February 2023 JT Barcelona El Prat airport will be the second European airport in terms of traffic to and from the airport itself, behind only London Heathrow.

According to Eurocontrol’s predictions, the general European recovery of pre-pandemic operations will not be achieved until 2025. This scenario is more pessimistic than previous forecasts due to multiple political and economic factors.

Steps towards aviation sustainability:

The European Commission is incentivizing aviation sustainability through the ReFuelEU program to mandate the availability of UAS at European airports. The proposal is for UAS to account for 2% of aviation fuel by 2025, rising to 70% by 2050.

At the national level, the Alliance for the Sustainability of Air Transport in Spain (AST) was created in April 2023, where more than 900 companies are promoting the development of environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable aviation.

All data are in issue 46 of the Barcelona Air Traffic Observatory.

 Link to all observatories.


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