Barcelona wants to become a “hub”, one of the major hubs in Europe and in the Mediterranean. The dictionary says a hub is a “center around which other things revolve or from which they radiate; a focus of activity, commerce, transportation...”
Its geographic location, economic power, history and culture give Barcelona the opportunity to become all of this.
At Spanair, we are working with our associated airlines of Star Alliance to build an air transportation hub in Barcelona. We want to make sure Barcelona is well connected with the world, specifically, that Barcelona has the intercontinental flights that it deserves.
In general terms, the number of direct intercontinental flights a city has is correlated with its size and its economical activity, but Barcelona is an exception and has traditionally had much less intercontinental flights than it deserves. Barcelona has a strong demand for flying and a new world class airport but has never had a network airline committed to calling the Barcelona airport its home, unlike other big cities (Air France in Paris, Lufthansa in Frankfurt and Munich, Alitalia in Rome, Iberia in Madrid, etc.)
Things are different now. Spanair, an airline formerly owned by Scandinavian Airlines, has been bought and re-launched by a group of Catalan investors, including local businesses, institutions and the Catalan Government, committed to building the Barcelona hub.
All companies have a mission, but Spanair is a mission in itself, executed through a company. The mission is to better connect Barcelona with the world.
But the transportation hub is only a means; the real objective of Barcelona is to become an economic and cultural hub. A city that will attract global talent, offering career opportunities with innovative companies and becoming an attractive option for European and global corporations to establish their headquarters.
Barcelona also wants to be a capital for music, sports, publishing and other cultural industries.
We have the ingredients to build this hub. We need strong commitment, leadership and joint efforts by all stakeholders. Barcelona is up to the challenge.
Ferran Soriano i Compte