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News and comments and events relating to Granada, 'the city where anything is possible, Granada, 'la bella y la bestia, and Federico Garcia Lorca's complicated love-hate relationship with the city, etc

Granada – an international airport once more

AirportPosted by Simon Sat, January 07, 2017 10:53:38

My last post on this subject (04.03.2014) was a rather too skeptical and sarcastic report on the setting up of a committee to “guarantee the future” of Granada as an international airport.

I had previously (29.012013 post 27) noted how Granada, after reaching a peak of 1.467.625 passengers in 2007, had hit rock bottom in 2012, becoming the last placed of the five Andalusian passenger airports, falling even behind remote Almería.

In fact, in terms of passenger numbers, Granada fared even worse in 2013, reaching a low of 638,288. Since then, the decline has been stopped and slightly reversed, numbers nudging just above 700,000 in 2015.

Well, that committee, that Panel of bigwigs that I was rather scathing about, seems to have come up with the goods. As Guadalupe Maldonado reported in Granada Hoy (Guadalupe S. Maldonado Granada, 14 December, 2016) back in December, the Federico Garcia Lorca Granada-Jaen Airport is expanding its activities as a destination for international flights. This is primarily due to the incorporation of new Easyjet routes between London, Milan, and Manchester.

· - London flights start on 4 February 2017 and will operate three times a week.

· - The Milan flight starts on 26 March 2017 and will also operate three days a week.

· - The flight to Manchester starts on 21 July and will operate two days a week.

While the airport commits itself to filling the flights as far as possible by means of publicity and marketing campaigns, I understand no subsidies are involved, in contrast to the arrangements made with Ryanair, who pulled out in 2010 when no new subsidies were forthcoming.

The three new routes are supposed to be going to account for an extra 54.000 passengers per year and the goal is to reach one million passengers in the next two or three years, returning to the volume of passengers last reached in 2006.

At the moment, Granada does have two international destinations, with two flights each per week: Transavia France to Paris Orly and British Airways (BA Cityflyer) to London City.





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GRANADA AIRPORT UPDATE

AirportPosted by Simon Tue, March 04, 2014 20:29:59

I have blogged previously on the decline of Granada’s “International” Airport (#15; 30.1.11 and #27; 29.1.13). How, to visit one of Europe’s favourite tourist destinations, it is necessary to fly via Malaga, or Madrid. The only international flight I found on the airport destination schedules mid-Feb was to Paris, twice a week on Monday and Thursday. I know there have been flights to and from London City Airport and there will be again. But that’s not much for a magical city like Granada.

Numbers using the airport have been in decline since 2007 and they fell sharply in 2010 when Ryanair pulled out because the city withdrew its subsidy. With cuts imposed by AENA things have just been getting worse. Is a turnaround on the cards?

Well, you’ll be glad to know that a committee has been set up to study the problem and find solutions to “guarantee the future” of the airport.

Who’s in the committee? All sorts of bigwigs and medium- and heavyweights from the national, regional, provincial and urban governments, among them the city’s lord mayor José Torres Hurtado, plus representatives from the world of business and commerce, such as Jaime Parra, the general secretary of the local Chamber of Commerce, Gerardo Cuerva, President of the Employers’ Confederation, President and General Secretary of the Hostelry and Tourism Sector, Trinitario Betoret y Antonio García, and airport director Marta Torres.

This emergency gathering of local dignitaries and moguls is understandable in view of the importance of the airport to the city’s and the area’s development as a cultural and tourist attraction and a potential money-spinner.

What are they going to do?

Brainstorm ideas, make a plan, co-ordinate forces, and maybe even take action - to further the “internationalisation” of the airport.

What’s new? Not much. A repeat of the old refrain that Granada is more than the Alhambra and worth more than just a cursory visit of 24 hours. In addition to the usual patter, the Airport Director also calls for a more effective marketing of special one-off events, such as the Basketball World Cup that is going to take place in the city between 28 August and 6 September this year.


Meanwhile, the Employers’ Confederation, weary of fruitless talk of internationalising the airport, proposes better quality, more frequent and economical connections with Madrid Airport as a hub for international flights to London and the rest of Europe. It is not only the tourist industry that would profit from a better exploitation of the underused García Lorca airport facilities. Local businesses and industries, like the technological sector or the agroalimentary market, would also benefit. Argues the Confederation.

Main source: Guadalupe S. Maldonado in Granada Hoy 11.02.2014

Secondary: R. Castro Granada Hoy 04.03.2014





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Granada Airport hits rock bottom

AirportPosted by Simon Tue, January 29, 2013 15:03:21

2012 has been another bad year for Federico García Lorca Airport Granada/Jaén. As were 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008. (I wrote about it in #post15.) The number of passengers passing through the airport has fallen year by year since 2007 reaching the lowest number for eight years. This chart shows clearly what has been happening:

In 2004, before low-cost airlines started using the airport, 590.931 passengers passed through Federico García Lorca Airport in Granada. In 2005, Ryanair arrived on the scene like a fairy godmother and the numbers shot up to 875.322, an increase of 45,4%. Things continued to go well with a peak of 1.467.625 travellers being reached in 2007. The number of users fell by 3.1% in 2008 and since then they have been in a state of practical freefall. In 2010 they dipped for the first time since 2006 below 1 million line. The crisis set in when Ryanair left in search of greener pastures. It was exacerbated by the collapse of Spanair in 2011. Of the 872.752 passengers who passed through Granada that year, at least 136.400 were on routes operated by Spanair, accounting for a good part of the loss of 144.324 users that occurred compared to 2010.

Thus, in 2012, with only 728.428 users, Granada hit rock bottom, that is to last place among the five Andalusian passenger airports. It had fallen behind Jerez de la Frontera in 2010, and now it was overtaken by Almería whose 749.712 passengers were 21.284 more than those using the Federico García Lorca Airport of Granada y Jaén.

The key to the continued demise of Granada Airport lies in its current dependence on national tourism, which in the crisis has been more badly affected than external tourism. In Granada 97% of air passengers start or end their journey inside Spain.

The sad demise of the airport has an odd footnote in the appearance and disappearance of Hispania Airways, possibly the shortest-lived airline ever, hardly lasting 15 days. After announcing flights between Granada and Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, London and Paris and its intention of flying 80,000 passengers into and out of the city in its first year, plus its plans to set up one school to train flight attendants and another for pilots, on 21 December 2012, presumably because it realised it had no chance to get anything like sufficient bookings, Hispania Airways cancelled all its flights from Granada Airport before it had even started, mumbling something about re-considering the situation and the possibility of resuming (resuming?) its activities at an unspecified future date.

When Hispania declared its good intentions, Mayor José Torres Hurtado commended the airline for putting its faith in Granada with no more institutional support than its promotional tourist campaigns. This was a side-swipe, a bit unfortunate as it turned out, at Ryanair, who pulled out as soon as “institutional support” (in the form of subsidies) was withdrawn.

Sources:

Guadalupe S. Maldonado 19.01.2013 + A. González Vera 09.01.2013 Granada Hoy

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the airport and ryanair

AirportPosted by Simon Sun, January 30, 2011 19:56:44

In 2010 Granada Airport suffered the greatest percentage fall in the number of passengers since 1981, thanks largely to Ryanair discontinuing its flights on four routes – to London, Liverpool, Madrid, and Gerona. This followed the low-cost airline’s failure to blackmail Granada into paying greater subsidies for the privilege of hosting its cheap flights.

The number of passengers using Granada Airport was 978,107, 17.7% down on the 1,187,813 travellers in 2009. This loss of 209,706 passengers followed the 234,201 loss in 2009 compared to 2008 (16.5% down) and the loss of 45,611 customers from 2007 to 2008 (3.1% down). In other words, since the balmy days of 2007 Granada Airport has lost almost half a million passengers (489,518) and you have to go back to 2005 to find the last time fewer than a million travellers passed through the Airport in the course of a year.

Last year’s 17.7% percentage fall in the number of passengers was last exceeded, as we said, in 1981, but then the fall was only 36,214 from 186.165 to 149.951 (19,4%).

In 2007 Granada had risen to 21st busiest airport in Spain. Since then it has fallen year by year to position 25 in 2010.

Granada falls from 3rd to 4th place among Andalusian Airports, behind Malaga, Sevilla, and now Jerez de la Frontera, all of which enjoyed modest growth last year, in line with national trends.

Source: Camara Granada - AEFI

Ryanair attempted to replace Granada as one of its low-cost destinations with Ciudad Real. Spain's ‘biggest private airport’ greeted its first Ryanair flight at the end of May, shortly after it had pulled out of Granada. The airport was 'optimistic’ that the notoriously mean airline would add ‘at least two further destinations in the near future’. But in fact it cancelled the route Ciudad Real – London Stansted in November, leaving the international private airport with just one route, to Paris.

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