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Madrid airport to undergo €2.4bn expansion 18 years after T4 opening
Saturday, January 27, 2024 @ 9:06 AM

SPAIN'S president Pedro Sánchez has announced plans to expand Madrid's Adolfo Suárez-Barajas airport with a budget of €2.4 billion – the largest investment in aviation infrastructure in the country in more than a decade.

Madrid's Adolfo Suárez-Barajas airport T4, which opened inn February 2006 (photo: Diego Delso/Wikimedia Commons)

Once complete, the revamp will allow the nation's biggest airport to transport up to 90 million passengers a year by 2031 – the equivalent of nearly double the population of Spain.

There is no suggestion of a fifth terminal being added to Barajas – which was renamed after the first post-dictatorship democratically-elected president of Spain, Adolfo Suárez, who died from Alzheimer's in March 2014.

Madrid's Terminal 4, or T4, opened in February 2006, and the metro line connecting it to the city centre was launched in May 2007.

But even with no T5 on the cards, Sánchez said the plans would bring 'triple benefits' to the capital and, to a certain extent, Spain as a whole: 'Dramatic growth' in 'space and route capacity'; 'thousands of direct and indirect jobs', and 'generate wealth'.

Spain's largest two aviation hubs – Barcelona-El Prat and Madrid Barajas-Adolfo Suárez - are the gateway to Latin America from Europe, with frequent direct flights to the 19 Spanish-speaking countries south of the US-Mexican border, meaning travellers to the region from elsewhere on the continent will almost certainly have to take connecting flights to and from either the Spanish capital or second-largest city.

As well as 'reinforcing' Spain's 'leadership' in European-Latin American travel, Sánchez's government wants to create and develop a similar hub with Asia, offering new, largely direct routes and operating as a base for airlines focusing on the eastern continent.

Describing the plans during a press conference at Madrid's international tourism trade fair, FITUR, which ends on Sunday evening, Spain's president stressed that the works would be structured so as to 'respect the environment'.



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Radam said:
Sunday, January 28, 2024 @ 10:49 AM

Interesting, in aviation terms, this is called a “hub and spoke” strategy, to concentrate air connections through a hub supported by feeder points. Airlines bought larger capacity aircraft like the B747 or Airbus 380 based on this strategy. But travelers increasingly wanted direct point-to-point flights, without the added time and stress of transferring through big multi-terminal airports. Nimble airlines that used efficient smaller or long range aircraft flying more direct primary or secondary routes gained market share. Given a choice, I imagine passengers from Valencia, Seville, or other cities would prefer more direct flights versus transiting through Madrid, for example.

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