El Prat accelerates and adds a quarter above pre-pandemic figures

The Barcelona-El Prat airport accelerates the pace to consolidate, record included, its progress on pre-pandemic data.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
11 February 2024 Sunday 15:48
10 Reads
El Prat accelerates and adds a quarter above pre-pandemic figures

The Barcelona-El Prat airport accelerates the pace to consolidate, record included, its progress on pre-pandemic data. January was the third consecutive month above 2019, with a 7.1% improvement in the number of passengers compared to four years ago, according to data published this Monday by Aena. The increase exceeds the rates of November (4.3%) and December (5.6%).

Compared to last year, there was a 14% increase, to 3.5 million travelers, a record for this month. Of them, 2.5 million were on international flights, while some 974,000 were on domestic trips. International ones are growing more strongly: 16% by 9%, respectively.

The figures are obtained despite the strike by the Iberia handling staff that at the beginning of January forced the cancellation and diversion of several flights and caused problems with baggage management in the Catalan infrastructure. Hand in hand, operations grew, with 23,614 movements, 13% more, and greater cargo transported, with 13,634 tons and 28.4% more. Although the load is already 5% higher than in 2019, operations are 2% lower. This indicates that with fewer flights more passengers are achieved. A growth that maintains the debate about the expansion of an airport that will approach its maximum capacity this year.

Only Madrid-Barajas moves more aircraft, with 31,617 operations, and more cargo, with 55,051 tons. In any case, in terms of passengers, Barajas grows less than Barcelona in year-on-year terms: 8.1% more with 4.79 million passengers. The same thing happens in the Aena network as a whole, which advances 10.3% with its 18.66 million passengers, a historical maximum.

Among the rest of the airports in Catalonia, Girona stands out, which doubles the number of passengers to 28,152 despite operations falling by 20.5%, to 856 throughout January. In Sabadell, operations increased by 20.3%, to 4,312, with passengers falling by 18%, to 418. In the case of Reus, it moves 766 passengers, 96% more, and sees operations increase by 11%, to 1,414.

In the rest of the network, the rebound in Malaga stands out, with a growth of 20% to 1.34 million passengers. It is the third that moves the most travelers. Gran Canaria (1.29 million and an increase of 7.2%) and Tenerife (1.2 million, 10.3%) are also above one million.

Among the 20 most important there are hardly any falls, as in the case of Santiago, with about 200,000 travelers and 7% less, or Menorca, with 79,400 and 6% less, both affected by seasonal factors.