What Happened To Spanish LCC Clickair?

Today we thought we would look back and see what happened to Spanish low-cost carrier (LCC) Clickair. Based at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN), Clickair was originally called Catair because of its connections with Catalonia’s autonomous region.

clickair A320
Clickair started with three A320s. Photo: Getty Images

Before launching operations in 2006, Catair decided to change its name to Clickair. The change was made because the airline expected most of its ticket sales to come from online purchases. Customers would visit the airlines’ website and then click to buy tickets. Like other LCCs, the plan would be to sell tickets cheaply and make revenue from online food, drinks, and goods sales.

Iberia was behind Clickair

Spanish national flag carrier Iberia was behind the startup along with Iberostar, Cobra, Nefinsa, and Quercus Equity, with each of the five partners owning 20% of the airline. Despite only owning 20%, Iberia controlled 80% of Clickair’s economic rights. Iberia and its partners had ambitious plans for the budget airline to operate a fleet of 30 Airbus A320s on 70 routes and be carrying around ten million passengers a year by 2008.

Clickair was given the defunct Regional Lineas Aereas IATA code XG. Despite its lofty ambitions, Clickair started flying five routes with three Airbus A320s from its base at Barcelona El Prat Airport.

Clickair merged with Vueling

While 2007 might have been a good year for aviation safety, it was a bad year financially, with both Barcelona-based Clickair and Vueling struggling to turn a profit. To remedy the situation, Vueling and Clickair decided to merge in June 2008. The two airlines intended to create a carrier that was better able to compete in the Spanish air market while also reducing fuel costs. With Iberia still the main partner, the new airline would operate under the Vueling name with Clickair’s Alex Cruz as the boss.

Airbus A320-214 Amsterdam schiphol [AMS / EHAM] 07-12-2008
Clickair was run by Alex Cruz. Photo: Pieter van Marion via Wikipedia
Since completing the merger in 2009, Vueling, which is a mixture of the Spanish word vuelo (flight) and the English suffix-ing, grew to become the second-largest Spanish airline. In 2013 Vueling was acquired by International Airlines Group (IAG) who also now owns Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia. and LEVEL. Vueling operates as a stand-alone airline with its CEO  Marco Sansavini reporting to IAG CEO Luis Gallego.

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Clickair had an all A320 fleet

According to the aviation enthusiast website, Planespotters.net at its peak, Clickair operated a fleet of 26 Airbus A320-200 aircraft and had hubs at the following airports:

  • Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN)
  • Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport (AGP)
  • Seville Airport (SVQ)
  • Valencia Manises Airport (VLC)
Vueling A320 getty Images
Clickair merged with Vueling in 2009. Photo: Getty Images

As well as flying to every major city in Spain, along with the Balearic Islands and Tenerife, Clickair flew to the following international destinations:

  • Vienna International Airport (VIE)
  • Brussels Airport (BRU)
  • Václav Havel Airport Prague (PRG)
  • Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
  • Paris Orly Airport (ORY)
  • Munich Airport (MUC)
  • Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH)
  • Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD)
  • Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP)
  • Naples InteFalcone Borsellino Airport (NAP)
  • Palermo Falcone Borsellino Airport (PMO)
  • Pisa International Airport (PSA)
  • Rome Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO)
  • Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE)
  • Verona Villafranca Airport (VRN)
  • Malta International Airport (MLA)
  • Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)
  • Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW)
  • Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS)
  • Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport (OTP)
  • Moscow Domodedovo Airport (DME)
  • St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport (LED)
  • London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

Did you ever get to fly with Clickair before they merged with Vueling? If so, please tell us what you thought of them in the comments.