The Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat airport closed the year 2019 with a moderate air cargo growth (2.5%), despite reaching the record figure of 177,300 tons. The main cause of the slowdown compared to previous periods is the negative trend of the sector itself worldwide, which has experienced demand setbacks during 2019, greatly influenced by tensions between the United States and China, and the stagnation of world trade.

Barcelona has ceded a position in the Spanish ranking. The airport of Zaragoza (182,700 tons in 2019), with its business model based on pure cargo aircraft, surpassed for the first time at Barcelona airport, which goes to the third position of the national ranking. However, Barcelona remains in the top-25 of European cargo airports, according to ACI Europe data, collected by the Change of Commerce of Barcelona.

Air exports managed from Barcelona had as main destinations the regions of Pacific Asia Y North Asia (37%), North America (20%) and Latin America (18%). However, if the first segment of the route is analyzed, that is, the first airport of call, it follows that only the regions of North America, the Middle East and Europe had sufficient direct flights and frequencies to respond to the demand for air cargo to those areas. Therefore, from the point of view of merchandise, there is enough market to have more direct flights with Asia Pacific, North Asia and Latin America.

More load in the electricity sector

The electrical, mechanical and food sectors are the ones that grew the most in air cargo. Catalunya continued to lead the national air cargo ranking in pharmaceutical and chemical products with 40% of the state share. However, the sector showed a moderation of its annual growth (+ 5.6%). The fastest growing sectors are electrical and mechanical products (+ 16.2%) and food products (+ 14.6%), although both are far from the leading Catalan air transport sector, textiles.

Qatar Airways It was the leading cargo airline in Barcelona (21,600 tons (Tn) and a 12.2% share), and exceeds for the first time in Emirates (20,900 tons, 11.8% share). In addition, the three major express delivery companies (UPS, DHL Y FedEx) have obtained a 22% quota at the airport. At the destination level, Seoul stands out, which has exponentially increased the export and direct import figures from Barcelona (91% and 68%, respectively) since starting the route in 2017. The route with the South Korean capital has a very good capacity charging thanks to the extensive connectivity they offer both Korean Air how Asiana.


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