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Growth at Barcelona Airport Attributed to Ryanair

Wed 31st Aug 2011

A recent study has revealed that Barcelona's El Prat airport is the fastest growing airport in the whole of Europe.

Although it handles fewer passengers every year than Madrid's Barajas airport, and has a smaller footprint, it's growth is still way ahead of it's competitor in the country's capital.

Figures for last week ( 22nd - 29th August ) Indicated that 92.8% of Flights to El Prat originate in Western Europe, compared with 76.6% of those flying to Barajas airport.

This growth has largely been attributed to Ryanair, who established an operations base at El Prat in September of 2010 and who serve 25 European locations and provide 87'318 passenger seats per week.

In comparison, Ryanair flies to 2 other airports in the region of Catalonia, both of which are longer established : Girona flies to 48 locations, serving fewer seats at 75'318, whilst Reus flies to 29 locations, but serves just just 39'312 seats.

The success of El Prat has been largely at the expense of Reus and Girona and, if Ryanair's claims that operating costs at the two smaller airports being greater is to be believed, it looks likely that operations will be scaled back further still.

According to AENA, in the first 7 months of 2011 Ryanair carried some 19.7 Million passengers to Spain, way ahead of the next largest carrier - Iberia - at 14.6 Million. This represented a growth of 38.7% for Ryanair, based on the same period in 2010.

One problem is becoming more evident as the strength and popularity of this airline grows, Ryanair becomes more and more demanding of the airports that they serve, requesting the unreasonable or impossible, and often carrying out their threats to close thier operations at airports seemingly on a whim, it is always the passenger who pays the price.

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