El Prat chains six record months and starts a summer of maximum activity

Barcelona airport enters the summer season, which in the aviation sector has already begun, with record passengers and exceeding all demand forecasts.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 11:23
5 Reads
El Prat chains six record months and starts a summer of maximum activity

Barcelona airport enters the summer season, which in the aviation sector has already begun, with record passengers and exceeding all demand forecasts. The conflict situation in the eastern Mediterranean, with the war in Gaza, has pushed much of the flow of travelers to Spain, which is experiencing another tourist boom not without challenges.

In the case of El Prat, to this new increase in demand is added the revaluation of the Barcelona destination after covid and a growing segment of fairs and congresses. All this has made it chain six months of breaking passenger records and begin a period of maximum activity, according to the latest data published by Aena.

In April it closed with more than 4.6 million passengers, an increase of 9.5% compared to the same month last year and still 1.7% over the previous record of that month, the of 2019. That year the airport approached the technical limit of capacity, set at 55 million people each year, and if the trend does not change everything predicts that in 2024 it will approach that figure even more.

In this progress, the increase in international flights plays a fundamental role. The increase in passengers in this segment exceeds that of the Aena airport network as a whole. More than 3.4 million passengers traveled on international flights at El Prat last month, 11.8% more than in April 2023. In the total number of airports in Spain, international passengers grew by 9, 2%, up to 17.47 million. Barajas airport is also growing above average in international travelers, with 12.2% more (3.95 million). The dense network of European flights in the case of El Prat, together with the return of the intercontinental market, and the consolidation of Madrid as a hub for long-haul flights explain the increase.

As for domestic flights, they transported nearly 1.2 million passengers to Barcelona, ​​which represents 3.3% more than in April last year. Here the growth is lower than at the airports as a whole, where these travelers increase by 4.9% (8.14 million in total).

The summer season, therefore, aims to be historic with these figures and the schedule that the airlines have launched, with 42.2 million seats in Barcelona, ​​11% more than the summer season a year ago. The two main companies in El Prat, Vueling and Ryanair, have increased flights significantly.

The record situation in Barcelona is repeated for the entire Aena network in Spain, more or less. In the first four months of the year, it recorded 86.4 million passengers, 11.6% more than a year earlier, and also achieved a record in air cargo and operations in April.

In addition to El Prat and Barajas, 17 airports broke passenger records in the month of April, including Palma, Malaga, Gran Canaria, Alicante, Valencia, Seville, Lanzarote, Bilbao, Tenerife Norte, Santiago, Asturias, Sant Sebastià or Melilla, which accounts for the unprecedented boom in tourism in Spain. In this sense, Aena has plans to expand several airports apart from Madrid, such as Tenerife or Alicante.