The increase in flights and the capacity to travel to Canada and Latin America is driving the recovery of long-haul connections at Barcelona airport. The airlines have programmed for this summer season an offer of seats that exceeds that of 2019 in these destinations, while the United States, despite concentrating the largest volume of capacity since El Prat in absolute numbers, remains below pre-pandemic levels .
Canada, with 186,368 seats, expands its offer by 20% compared to 2019, indicates the latest analysis of the Barcelona Air Traffic Observatory, prepared by the Chamber. Scheduled destinations from Barcelona to the Canadian market include Calgary, which Westjet operates with three weekly frequencies, Montreal (Air Canada and Air Transat with 8 frequencies) and Toronto (Air Canada and Air Transat with 9 frequencies). As for the seats with Latin America, they increased by 4% compared to the pre-pandemic summer, up to 255,418 seats. Bogotá (Avianca), Buenos Aires (Level), Cancún (Iberojet), Mexico City (Emirates), Dominican Republic (Iberojet), Santiago (Level) and Sao Paolo (Latam) are the destinations that Barcelona has managed to activate this season. Only Lima remains in the portfolio, which has not been recovered after the covid air crisis.
The United States continues to lead the intercontinental capacity of El Prat, with 587,994 seats scheduled to travel in summer, which is 19% below four years ago.
The Observatory of the Chamber highlights the role of Level (IAG) as one of the main airlines that connects with the American continent. The airline, dependent on Iberia, has increased its fleet with another additional plane this summer and in April it positioned itself as the first long-haul operator at Barcelona airport. During that month, the company transported a total of 55,000 people on the six routes it operates from El Prat to America. For this summer it has programmed 35% more seats than in the 2022 season.
In total, 37 airlines fly to intercontinental destinations from Barcelona for the high season, while in 2019 there were 42. Despite this, the airport this summer is close to the number of record destinations it reached in the pre-pandemic period, as La Vanguard a few days ago. However, airlines are not yet offering 100% of pre-pandemic frequencies to long-haul destinations.
Counting all types of flights (both national and European and intercontinental), the city of Barcelona is in fifth position on a European scale (a city can have several airports) in origin or destination traffic in the period February 2022- February 2023, just behind London, Paris, Istanbul and Milan. "In addition - adds the report - El Prat continues as the seventh European airport in total air passenger traffic just below Madrid, and the second European airport in traffic originating or ending at the same airport, only behind London-Heathrow".