Iberia unveils its new premium economy cabin

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Iberia (Image Credit: Iberia)

Iberia has taken another step in its renewal and modernisation by unveiling a new premium economy cabin on selected long-haul aircraft and routes from Madrid from the summer of 2017.

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Iberia Express launches London Heathrow – Asturias

London Air Travel » Iberia

Iberia Express Airbus A320 (Image Credit: Iberia Express)
Iberia Express Airbus A320 (Image Credit: Iberia Express)

Iberia Express, the low cost short-haul sibling of Iberia, is to launch a three times weekly route from London Heathrow to Asturias in the north west of Spain from Sunday 24 April 2016.

Iberia Express will offer a two class, economy and business, service on this route.

At launch, flights depart from London Heathrow Terminal 5 on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and will be codeshared with British Airways.

This route launch adds to a growing number of Iberia routes at London Heathrow including Palma Mallorca, and Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Iberia also serves Madrid from London Heathrow and Gatwick.

Flights are on sale now at Iberia.com and ba.com

Flight IB3603 Depart London Heathrow 20:30 – Arrive Asturias 23:25 (Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday)
Flight IB3610 Depart Asturias 18:20 – Arrive London Heathrow 19:15 (Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday)

H/T Airlineroute.net

Update January 2018: This route, which currently operates on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday is suspended from Saturday 24 March 2018. Iberia’s sister airline Vueling will continue to fly from London Gatwick to Asturias three times weekly on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. It is also possible to fly to Asturias from London Heathrow indirectly via Madrid.

Iberia returns to Tokyo and aims to launch Shanghai

London Air Travel » Iberia

Iberia has announced it is to return to Japan with the launch of a three times weekly flight from Madrid to Tokyo Narita from Tuesday 18 October 2016.

The airline also aims to launch flights from Madrid to Shanghai later in 2016, subject to Government approval and obtaining slots at Shanghai.
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BA & Iberia announce joint-business with LAN and TAM Airlines

London Air Travel » Iberia

International Airlines Group - Aer Lingus, BA, Iberia, Vueling
International Airlines Group – Aer Lingus, BA, Iberia, Vueling

The parent company of British Airways and Iberia, International Airlines Group, has today announced that British Airways and Iberia are to launch a joint-business with LAN and TAM Airlines on flights between Europe and South America.

LAN and TAM Airlines, which have hubs in Chile and São Paulo are owned by LATAM Airlines Group and are due to merge their operations under a single brand, LATAM.

The launch of the joint business will be subject to regulatory approval which, if granted, will allow the four airlines to co-ordinate routes, schedules, pricing and marketing of flights between Europe and South America.

Passengers will also benefit from reciprocal recognition of airline frequent flyer benefits (though that already happens to an extent as all airlines are members of the Oneworld alliance) and easier access to codeshare flights on the airlines’ respective local & regional networks.

The joint business is likely to operate on a similar basis as the current joint-venture between British Airways, Iberia and American Airlines on flights between Europe & North America.

Currently, the four airlines operate up to 45 flights a day between Europe and South America.

LAN & TAM currently have a small presence on London which TAM operating a flight to São Paulo.  

However, the launch of the joint-business could prompt British Airways to extend its presence in South America beyond São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Lima.

We would speculate that the launch of a direct route from London Heathrow to Santiago is a good possibility after the launch of the joint-business.

LAN and TAM have a much larger presence in Europe at Madrid airport and more new routes from Madrid to secondary cities in South America are also a possibility.

Regulatory approval for the joint business is expected to take 12-18 months and the joint business should launch in stages shortly after regulatory approval is granted.

Cutrently, it is not proposed that fellow members of International Airlines Group, Aer Lingus and Vueling, will join the joint-venture.

Iberia reinstates Madrid-Johannesburg from 1 August 2016

London Air Travel » Iberia

Iberia (Image Credit: Iberia)

More signs of turnaround at British Airways’ International Airlines Group sibling Iberia. The airline is to reinstate its Madrid – Johannesburg route from Monday 1 August 2016.
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Iberia returns to Puerto Rico from 15 May 2016

London Air Travel » Iberia

Iberia (Image Credit: Iberia)

More signs of a turnaround at British Airways’ International Airlines Group sibling Iberia.

Iberia is to return to Puerto Rico from 15 May 2016.

The airline will fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico three times a week from Madrid, initially on a summer seasonal basis only.

Flights will be operated using Airbus A330-200 aircraft which Iberia is due to take delivery of later this year.  The aircraft will have 19 business class seats and 269 economy class seats.

Iberia has also intimated recently that it is exploring a return to Johannesburg, another former long-haul route, as well as returning to Japan and opening new routes to China.

Flights are on sale now at Iberia.com and are well timed for connections to and from London.

Flight IB6301 Depart Madrid 12:25 – Arrive San Juan 14:55

Flight IB6300 Depart San Juan 16:35 – Arrive Madrid 06:25

BA, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling to roll-out in flight WiFi

London Air Travel » Iberia

International Airlines Group - Aer Lingus, BA, Iberia, Vueling
International Airlines Group – Aer Lingus, BA, Iberia, Vueling

International Airlines Group has today confirmed that WiFi will be rolled out across the short-haul and long-haul aircraft of its airlines: Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling.

To date, IAG airlines have adopted a piecemeal approach to WiFi. BA has WiFi on just one Boeing 747. Aer Lingus has WiFi on its transatlantic Airbus A330s. Iberia and Vueling also have WiFi on some aircraft.

On short-haul aircraft IAG is expected to adopt an Inmarsat “Air To Ground” system which should deliver fast internet access speeds. The first aircraft will be in service by 2017.

On long-haul aircraft, new deliveries of Airbus A330 (to Aer Lingus & Iberia), Airbus A350 (to British Airways and Iberia) and Boeing 787-10 (to British Airways) are expected to be fitted with WiFi.

IAG will also aim to retrofit 100 long-haul aircraft (primarily British Airways aircraft) with WiFi. IAG will target rolling out WiFi to 90% of long-haul aircraft by 2019.

The fit-out of WiFi on long-haul aircraft is likely to be subject to IAG being satisfied that the technology is sufficiently robust for the global long-haul networks of BA and Iberia and the cost of retrofitting aircraft makes the investment worthwhile

IAG has not yet indicated what pricing model it will adopt for WiFi, which is likely to vary by airline.

As well as providing passengers with in flight internet access and the opportunity for new In Flight Entertainment services, it will be interesting to see what customer service initiatives will arise as consequence of equipping cabin crews will in flight internet access.

Image courtesy of International Airlines Group
Image courtesy of International Airlines Group
Image courtesy of International Airlines Group
Image courtesy of International Airlines Group

Iberia targets Tokyo, Doha, Johannesburg, Toronto, Guadalajara, Managua, San Juan, Brasilia, & Asuncion

London Air Travel » Iberia

Iberia (Image Credit: Iberia)

Iberia is to examine opening new routes (and in some cases re-instating routes) to Tokyo, Doha, Johannesburg, Toronto, Guadalajara (Mexico), Managua (Nicaragua), San Juan de Puerto Rico, Brasilia and Asuncion (Paraguay) the airline announced today, 31 July 2015.

The routes are likely to launch in 2016 and 2017 and are subject to its parent company, International Airlines Group, placing orders for additional aircraft, including five Airbus 330-200 aircraft, with Airbus.  

IAG also hopes to order a further eight Airbus A350-900 aircraft as a replacement for Iberia’s existing fleet. An announcement could be made as early as next week.

The announcement is significant as it is further evidence of IAG’s turnaround of Iberia which has also seen the airline launch new routes to Medellin and Cali in Columbia.

That said, it has to be said it is somewhat unusual for an airline to announce a possible order for aircraft in advance of it being finalised. 

Nor do airlines normally give away much with regard to future route launches, for obvious competitive reasons (though negotiations with airports on landing fees could be a factor).

Of the routes mentioned Doha and Tokyo are noteworthy as these would be the airline’s only routes to the Middle East and Asia and would be the airline’s first step in making Madrid a global (rather than purely west bound) long-haul hub. We assume they would be supported by code shares with fellow Oneworld alliance partners Qatar Airways and Japan Airlines.  

It is noteworthy that Hong Kong and Singapore are not listed, particularly Hong Kong as it is the hub of fellow alliance partner Cathay Pacific.

The launch of more routes to Central and South America also cements Iberia’s position in this market. We are surprised not to see more North American destinations, but these are of course well served by British Airways.

Iberia Express launches London Heathrow – Palma Mallorca

London Air Travel » Iberia

Iberia Express Airbus A320 (Image Credit: Iberia Express)
Iberia Express Airbus A320 (Image Credit: Iberia Express)

Iberia continues its steady expansion into the UK market with the launch of a new route from London Heathrow to Palma, Mallorca from 29 March 2015.

The flight operates from London Heathrow Terminal 5 daily.

Flight IB3615 Depart London Heathrow 20:30 – Arrive Palma 23:50
Flight IB3615 Depart Palma 17:30 – Arrive London Heathrow 19:15

BA also flies to Palma from London Heathrow. Flights operate daily. Times vary but flights typically leave late morning or early afternoon.

Flights are on sale now on Iberia.com and BA.com

BA also flies to Palma from London City. easyJet, Norwegian, Thomas Cook and Monarch also fly to Palma from London Gatwick.

Update January 2018: This route has subsequently been suspended. However, BA continues to fly to Palma (Mallorca) all year round.

Iberia Express launches London Heathrow – Tenerife & Gran Canaria

London Air Travel » Iberia

Iberia Express Airbus A320 (Image Credit: Iberia Express)
Iberia Express Airbus A320 (Image Credit: Iberia Express)

Iberia’s low cost sister airline, Iberia Express, will launch London Heathrow – Tenerife and London Heathrow – Gran Canaria flights from late March 2015.

Flights to Tenerife operate three times weekly on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Flights to Gran Canaria operate four times weekly on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Flights depart from London Heathrow Terminal 5.

Here’s the timetable:

London Heathrow – Tenerife

Flight IB3603 Depart London Heathrow 17:05 – Arrive Tenerife 21:30
Flight IB3602 Depart Tenerife 11:20 – Arrive London Heathrow 15:45

London Heathrow – Gran Canaria

Flight IB3605 Depart London Heathrow 17:05 – Arrive Gran Canaria 21:30
Flight IB3604 Depart Gran Canaria 11:20 – Arrive London Heathrow 15:45

Flights are now on sale on Iberia.com

Iberia’s International Airlines Group sibling British Airways also flies from London Heathrow to Gran Canaria on a Saturday until the end of March. BA also flies to Tenerife from London Gatwick.

BA flights on these routes tend to be scheduled as morning departures from London, with the return flight departing late afternoon. In part, this to allow the aircraft and crew to do a round-trip in one day. Iberia’s timings work the opposite way and may be more convenient for some.

We have commented recently on IAG’s turnaround of Iberia and an increased presence in the UK is to be expected.

Update: Iberia has subsequently suspended these flights. However, BA continues to operate a year round once weekly service from London Heathrow to Gran Canaria and Tenerife South on Saturday.