Bilbao Airport (BIO/LEBB)

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Transformed: Bilbao positions itself as the cultural centre of Spain's Northern Atlantic coast – a change that has been recognised by being awarded the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize for urban transformation.

With over 100,000 visitors, Bilbao's nine-day Semana Grande (big week) in August is the city's most important event, and is followed by Bilbao BBK live – an international music festival. There is great architecture on every street corner including Sir Norman Foster's metro stations.

Other major reasons to serve this airport

  • Extremely competitive airport charges.
  • Bilbao is a vigorous service city that is experiencing an ongoing social, economic, and aesthetic revitalization process.
  • Important tourism attractions, including major architectural works: Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum; Norman Foster’s subway station; and Bilbao Airport by Santiago Calatrava.
  • “Semana Grande” is Bilbao’s main festival, attracting over 100,000 people. It is in August each year, and lasts for nine days. The celebrations include free music performances, street entertainment and nightly fireworks displays.
  • Nouvelle Basque cuisine, radically original in its form, but solidly Basque in substance. Many tapas bars, serve a modern-style of the typical snack of the Basque Country ‘pintxos’.
  • High-yield catchment area. Bilbao is the major airport in its catchment area.

Bilbao is keen on developing its intra-European route network, especially connections to Germany. In 2015, new routes will be launched by British Airways (London Heathrow), Vueling (Brussels and Rome Fiumicino), easyJet (Bristol), SWISS (Zurich) and Czech Airlines (Prague).

Marketing and other support

  • Incentives are available in the Spanish airports:
    • Passenger growth incentive:
      • 75% discount in the passenger charge for additional passengers on a route in year ‘n’ (payable 50% on year n+1 and 25% in n+2).
      • 100% discount in the passenger charge if the route is to a new destination in year ‘n’ (payable 75% on year n+1 and 25% in n+2).
    • Transfer incentive: 30% discount in passenger & security charges in 2014 and 35% in 2015.
    • Freight: is exempted of cargo charge from the 5 July 2014.
    • Charges will have a maximum increase of 0% for the next ten years until 2025, as per the Royal Decree-Law 8/2014, published on the State Official Bulletin.
  • PR support for new routes:
    Aena offers Marketing Support actions for the opening of new routes, which may include:

    • Opening flight ceremony:
      • Dedicated area at the airport for the opening flight ceremony;
      • Cocktail for the passengers of the opening flight ceremony;
      • Invitation of relevant authorities, press, agencies and participants to boost profile of event.
    • Water salute: 
      • Water cannon salute at the opening flight;
    • Publicity at the airport:
      • In the airport: publicity spaces (MUPI) and digital screens for publicity;
      • On-Line: Promotional banner on the airport’s web page or at info-vuelos web page and promotion of the new route through the social media and other channels;
      • Off-Line: Official press release with impact on major national media and press release at Aena’s magazine;
    • Publicity outside the airport:
      • Information in the UNAV (Unión de Agencias de Viaje -Travel Agencies Union) newsletter, that includes 120 members with 1,500 sales points and promotion of the route through the eSIPA* monitors (* Flight information platform installed at various hotels, fairs & conventions centres, and other placements outside the airport).
    • Promotional discounts
      • Discounts at airport’s parking, retail and food & beverages;
      • Promotional flyer at Aena Aeropuertos’ website announcing the new routes and including the promotional discounts with airline logo to be delivered to the passengers.
    • Base start-up
      • Note: There are minimum conditions for the number of based aircraft and traffic growth associated in order to be eligible for these actions.
      • Discount on the current official rate in the rental of check-in machines and/or check-in counters;
      • Discount on the current official rate in the rental of offices, premises and commercial counters;
      • Discount on the current official rate in the branding of the boarding gate area in line with the airline specifications;
      • Special banner at info-vuelos website (1.7 million visits/month).
  • Possible cooperation from the Spanish Tourism Board (Tourspain):
  • Market information: statistics & market analysis on request at
  • The conditions of the Aena Incentive scheme and PR support are according to the wording included in the legislation in force. For more information please visit:

100% interconnectivity – as part of developing Bilbao into a city of technology and innovation, free Wi-Fi access is available at key sites throughout the city.

Catchment Area

  • Within 30 mins: 1.1 million.
  • Within 60 mins: 1.7 million.
  • Within 120 mins: 3.3 million.

The economic centre of the Basque Country, Bilbao is home to many businesses, such as multinationals Iberdrola and Gamesa. The city's exhibition centre also hosts the largest multipurpose hall in Spain with a capacity of up to 26,000 – one of six Spanish venues for basketball's 2014 FIBA World Championships.

Under-served freight opportunities and other economic impact factors

Santiago Calatrava's 32,000m2 terminal – La Paloma ('the dove') was renovated during 2011; further extension will double capacity to eight million by 2016.


  • Bilbao Airport is located 12 kilometres from the capital of the Vizcaya province, in the city limits of Loiu.

Road Access

  • Access to the airport is via the national motorway N-637, which is the Bilbao ring road that links the airport to the national motorway A8.

Bus Access

  • Bizkaibus Línea 3247 Bilbao – Aeropuerto.
  • Aeropuerto – Zarautz – San Sebastian.
  • Aeropuerto – Eibar – Bergara – Arrasate.

Infrastructure & Operations

Important infrastructure developments and/or other news

Bilbao airport

For more information about Bilbao and its region, go to:

Vital statistics

2013 figures

  • Passengers: 2,301,666 domestic passengers; 1,483,044 international passengers.
  • Air Transport Movements: 94% scheduled flights; 6% charter flights.
  • Freight: 2,500 tonnes.
  • Largest carriers (Top 10): Vueling, Lufthansa, Air Europa, Iberia, easyJet, Air Nostrum, Air France, airberlin, Brussels Airlines and Ryanair.

View airport statistics


Airport charges

Annual report