Vueling announces investment at El Prat: 325M € for new aircraft and 23 new routes.

Friday 13th January 2012

Vueling, the new generation airline and the leading airline at Barcelona's El Prat Airport, has announced an investment of €325 million with the addition of five new aircraft to its fleet - four Airbus A320s and one Airbus A319. This represents the biggest investment by Vueling at the Catalan Airport since its merger with clickair in 2009.

With the new aircraft, Vueling will have a total fleet of 28 aircraft based at El Prat and offer 70 direct routes from the Catalan capital, 23 more than last summer. This increase will also expand the number of connecting flights via Barcelona up to a potential of 900.

A consolidated growth plan will also mean the recruitment of an additional 165 personnel: 150 to crew the aircraft and 15 administrative staff. Also, as a result of this expansion, air operations suppliers (handling, catering, etc) will increase turnover by 5%, resulting in increased recruitment and turnover for these companies.

In 2010, a year after the merger, Vueling showed virtually no growth - just 3% at Barcelona El Prat Airport. A year later, in 2011, the airline doubled its growth with three new routes. But it will be this coming summer season 2012 when Vueling experiences its greatest growth in Catalonia with a growth of 17.5%, 23 new direct routes. New Vueling routes will include Lanzarote (Spain) San Sebastian (Spain), Almeria (Spain), Lourdes (France), Malmö (Sweden), Nuremberg (Germany), Edinburgh and Southampton (UK), Stavanger (Norway) and Split (Croatia) in addition to the thirteen already present as new this year. Vueling strengthens its presence in France with seven new routes making a total of 11 direct connections with the country from Barcelona. For the first time new routes to Sweden, Norway and Denmark are also being operated.

These new additions will also highlight ​​Vueling's connectivity on almost all routes, providing them with a greater number of frequencies to improve links between flights. In addition there are notable increases, of more than 56,000 seats, on Barcelona-Milan and significant increases on routes to Moscow, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Genoa, Pisa, Tenerife and Las Palmas.

El Prat is among the four European airports with better short haul connections

Vueling operations at Barcelona El Prat now encompass 70 routes and considerable frequency per route. El Prat is among the top European airports offering short haul routes (routes of less than 2,900km). Only Frankfurt (with Lufthansa offering 98 short-haul routes) Charles de Gaulle (with Air France offering 79 short haul routes) and Madrid Barajas (where Iberia offers 79 short haul routes) are bigger.

New base in Palma:

Vueling shows an increase of 16% with its new routes for summer 2012: 44 new routes, 23 operated from El Prat, centered in Bilbao, the Balearics and Alicante in Spain and Paris, Nantes, Florence in the rest of Europe.

In the Balearic Islands Vueling will base at the airport of Son Sant Joan in Palma for the first time. Vueling will maintain a continuous growth in Majorca starting with a new direct connection to Moscow with a total capacity of 11,880 seats. Growth in Palma will continue as Vueling adds six new direct destinations: Lyon, Nice, Bordeaux, Cardiff, Alicante and Tenerife.

Ibiza will have a direct connection to Moscow this summer with a total capacity of 9360 seats. These links provide the Balearic Islands with direct routes to one of the most attractive countries for the Spanish tourism sector.

In Bilbao, Vueling consolidates it position as the leading airline at the airport with a proposed rate increase in almost 100% on all its routes (except for the connection to Ibiza that has a slight adjustment to demand) and the addition of three new routes: Paris, Berlin and Santorini (Greece).

In Alicante two new routes will be operated, Cardiff and Palma de Mallorca and there will be an increase in frequencies on established Ibiza and Paris routes.

There is also a significant increase in routes and frequencies at Paris-Orly, 32% more than last summer, with four new routes, Paris, Vienna, Lisbon and Florence. Paris-Alicante will be increased with nine frequencies per week and Paris-Palma with four flights each week over the same period last year. In summary a total supply of 1,691,712 Paris-Orly seats, 331,812 more than the same season in 2011.

The increase of flights across the entire Vueling network, except for very specific cases, is widespread: 59% increase in Moscow, St. Petersburg 50%, Zurich 33% and Brussels 12%.

Vueling strengthens European hub connections at El Prat:

In just one year, the airline transported a million passengers through Barcelona ensuring they arrived at their final destination at a highly competitive price. Forecasts for 2012 are to double this figure to reach two million connecting passengers.

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