Posted on: 13 January 2012 by Ross McSweeny
Vueling is to invest €325 million at its Barcelona’s El Prat base with the addition of four Airbus A320s and one A319, the largest biggest investment by Vueling at the Catalan Airport since its merger with clickair in 2009.
The new aircraft will take Vueling’s El Prat-based fleet to 28 enabling the carrier to offer 70 direct routes, 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 165 more staff – 150 crew and 15 in administration. The expansion will also mean that air operations suppliers (handling, catering, etc) will increase turnover by 5%, resulting in increased recruitment and turnover for those companies.
The new routes from Barcelona in 2012 involve year-round routes beginning in late March, year-round routes from mid-June plus some seasonal services. From the end of March services (with frequencies in parentheses) will operate from Barcelona to Munich (2 a day), Aalborg (2 a week), Copenhagen (4 a week), San Sebastian (daily), Almeria (3 a week), Strasbourg (3 a week), Lyon (4 a week), Nice (4 a week), Lille (6 a week), Marseille (4 a week), Brest (2 a week), Groningen (2 a week), Florence (daily), Cardiff (3 a week), and Stockholm (4 a week).
From 22 June, year-round services will begin to Malmo (2 a week), Nuremberg (3 a week), Southampton (3 a week), Lourdes (2 a week) and Lanzarote (4 a week).
Also beginning on 22 June, but operating only for the summer season until 15 September are flights to Split (3 a week), Edinburgh (3 a week), Fiordos (Stavanger) (2 a week) and Bari (2 a week).
In the Balearic Islands, Vueling will base aircraft at Son Sant Joan airport in Palma for the first time. From there Vueling will start a new direct connection to Moscow with a total capacity of 11,880 seats. Growth in Palma will also feature six more new direct destinations: Lyon, Nice, Bordeaux, Cardiff, Alicante and Tenerife. Ibiza, meanwhile, will also have a direct connection to Moscow this summer with a total capacity of 9,360 seats.
From Bilbao, Vueling is planning a frequency increase of almost 100% on all its routes and the addition of three new routes: Paris, Berlin and Santorini. At Alicante two new routes will be added, to Cardiff and Palma de Mallorca, and there will be increased frequencies on the Ibiza and Paris routes.