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Vueling To Turn Barcelona Into an Innovation Hub


Facing a Vueling A320 on the taxiway. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Many European airlines have received assistance funds during the last year to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. The European Union and various national governments gave those funds with strict conditions, often forcing the carriers to present restructuring plans.

One of the beneficiaries of such loans has been Vueling, the Spanish low-cost airline based in Barcelona-El Prat airport. As part of the restructuring scheme following the European funds, the IAG carrier wants to execute an ambitious plan for digital innovation and the air sector transformation towards sustainability. In collaboration with Iberia, Airbus and other Spanish institutions, they will execute an €11,000 million plan, out of which €4,000 million comes from the European Union funds.

The first objective is to create the International Centre for Digital Transformation of the Aviation Ecosystem at its base in Barcelona. Taking advantage of the position of the city as a European center of innovation, the aim is to create a hub with innovative ways of finding information and solutions for the air transport sector.

“We want to make Barcelona a benchmark in the research, design and implementation of digital tools that help transform airspace, airports and airlines. Our objective is to develop a productive fabric and a training and innovation campus of world reference,” Vueling explained.

This is not the first initiative carrier by Vueling to be a pioneer in innovation. It is part of the Flightpath Net Zero program, in which IAG has established an objective to reach zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Moreover, the Spanish carrier has eliminated 100% of plastic products on board. Together with the environmental concern, Vueling also has a strong program regarding children and women empowerment.

Vueling Announces Route Expansion for Easter and Summer

For Easter week, the Spanish airline is offering four new routes from Palma de Mallorca airport to four different German cities: Düsseldorf, Hannover, Berlin and Stuttgart. It will be offering more than 7,900 seats on the 44 connections flying the sanitary corridor opened between Germany and the Balearic Islands. From Barcelona-El Prat, Vueling will operate 58 national and international routes with 600 weekly flights. From June, it will inaugurate two new international routes to Helsinki, Finland and Anacona, Italy with two weekly frequencies.

Vueling will also increment the connectivity of the Canary Islands from March 27. Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife will be connected with two weekly flights and Gran Canaria with Zaragoza and Santiago de Compostela from June. While the recovery and the vaccination program is still far from the expected objective, the importance of tourism for Spain gives the country no other option than reactivating its connections.

Arturo Higueras
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  • Arturo Higueras

    Arturo joined AirlineGeeks in 2020 as a writer. He is a Spanish Aerospace Engineer who recently completed his undergraduate studies at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. He has always been passionate about aviation and, in addition to his engineering knowledge, he is now completing a Master’s Degree in Air Transport Management at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom. Being passionate about journalism, he has been part of several online magazine projects, he will now be covering aviation news from Europe.

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