The airport La Seu d’Urgell (Spain, 10km from the border with Andorra) was put in service. It was first used by the aircraft of the Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy on his way back after the visit to Andorra.
The Mayor of La Seu d’Urgell and the Minister for Economics of Andorra Jordi Alcobe have signed the protocol that presupposes further joint efforts in the development of the airport. In accordance to this protocol the service of main flight operators of Catalan airports on behalf of the Government of Spain are in charge of the airport management and exploitation.
The major investments were aimed for adapting flight strips for the planes that operate flights within Schengen zone. Previously, the airport was used only for private flights. Besides, it was necessary to create a joint infrastructure for fire and emergency services alongside with the investments into equipment security. It was also necessary to install a meteorological observation station for information service of the flights.
The Governments of Andorra and Spain intend to proceed developing the infrastructure of the airport in order to accept the flights from non-Schengen zone countries. The goal of the airport for the next 10 years—to increase the passenger flow up to 50000 persons annually (for comparison: the annual passenger flow of “El Prat” airport in Barcelona makes up 35 mln people). The infrastructure investments will be equally divided between Spain and Andorra.
As Jordi Alcobe puts it, the airport will offer regular flights that present interest for 8 airplanes. The major company that will operate regular flights Barcelona-Andorra will become Air Andorra. The expected cost of one-way ticket will make 75 euro. The length of the flight from “El Prat” airport will be 30 minutes. The company is also ready to offer its clients the regular flights to Lisbon, Madrid, Toulouse and Balearic Islands. Air Andorra will use turboprop French made ATR 72 200 with passenger capacity up to 40 persons.
Currently the only way to get to Andorra from neighbor France and Spain is by means of automobile and bus transfers. The journey from Barcelona or Toulouse lasts about 3 hours. The experts consider that flight connection will present a serious competition to autobus companies, that completely monopolized the given routes. Look for the prices and schedules of buses from Spain and France to Andorra la Vella here
Besides passenger flights the airport is also open for corporate aviation as well as for charter and freight flights. Previously the Government of Andorra announced the possibility to increase the trade turnover between Andorra and other countries by 30% thanks to La Seu d’Urgell airport.