Adding over 2,200 seats per week between Dubai and Barcelona, Emirates’ newly-expanded operation is a direct response to strong passenger demand. It will also help contribute to Spain’s economic growth and enable more passengers to experience its flagship A380 product.
Barcelona joins a host of 25 other major cities around the world to be served by an Emirates A380.
"A daily A380 service in itself is testimony to the potential and appeal of the city, and of the airport in its own right. The commitment shown by Emirates underlines again that we are a competitive airport that is prepared to fulfil the requirements of the airlines serving our destination and adapt to their needs, and also that we are able to improve day by day in offering even better services of ever-higher quality," said Sonia Corrochano, Director of Barcelona Airport.
Barcelona-El Prat Airport set a new record in 2013 with over 35 million passengers passing through its facilities. Over 50,000 of those passengers travelled to the United Arab Emirates, according to the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce’s Air Route Committee.
"Having welcomed 100 million visitors within the last 20 years, Barcelona is now in a position to further grow as a global tourism destination. The arrival of the Emirates A380 is a significant development for the city and for the Catalonia region that will help support our goals for further growth," said Pere Duran, Director General Turisme de Barcelona (Barcelona Tourist Board).
The city welcomed almost more than 5 million visitors between January and September of last year, with more than 500,000 visitors coming to attend the over 800 international congresses, further benchmarking Barcelona’s attractiveness as a business tourism destination. Furthermore, Barcelona has become the top city in the world by number of delegates, and third ranked for number of international congresses held in the city, according to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).
“The A380 is a fundamental part of our fleet strategy. Our orders represent a sizable piece of the overall A380 programme worldwide, with 96 pending delivery including the 50 additional A380s ordered at the Dubai Air Show in November 2013. In Spain, over 1,300 skilled workers work exclusively on the A380 programme at Airbus’s three facilities. Emirates works with an additional 54 suppliers in Spain that support the global A380 supply chain. Our commitment to the A380 programme provides stable demand which is an essential factor for investments in innovation, and this in turn is an important propeller for a resurgent economy. Moreover, our A380 service will also fuel the business of our local suppliers such as caterers, chauffer drive service companies, and ground handlers, to mention a few,” said Thierry Aucoc, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations, Europe and the Russian Federation.
The A380 programme has led to a significant increase in Spain’s share of the industrial workload on Airbus aircraft. The aircraft’s massive horizontal tail plane was designed by engineers in Spain and undergoes its initial assembly in Getafe, one of Airbus’s three plants in Spain. Getafe shares responsibility for the A380 horizontal tail plane with the Airbus site in Puerto Real, which performs its final assembly and testing.