Iberia is to resume scheduled long-haul passenger flights from its hub at Madrid Barajas international airport in July.
Iberia will fly from Madrid to Chicago O’Hare, Havana, Miami, Montevideo, New York JFK, Panama City, San Jose Costa Rica, Santiago, Santo Domingo and Quito.
Frequencies will be very limited with most flights operating 1 -2 days a week. Outbound flights from Madrid will resume as follows:
Chicago O’Hare – One flight a week from Friday 3 July Havana – One flight a week from Wednesday 1 July Miami – Two flights a week on Wednesday and Sunday from 1 July Montevido – One flight a week from Sunday 5 July
New York JFK – Two flights a week on Sunday and Tuesday from 4 July Panama City – One flight a week from Thursday 2 July Santiago – Two flights a week on Tuesday and Saturday from 4 July
Santo Domingo – Three flights a week on Monday, Thursday and Saturday from 2 July San Jose, Costa Rica – One flight a week from Friday 3 July Quito – Three flights a week on Monday, Thursday and Sunday from 2 July
One of the few reliable pleasures of short-haul travel is flying on a wide-body aircraft, instead of the workhorse of aviation in Europe, the Airbus A320 series.
Before Coronavirus brought aviation to halt, BA and Iberia operated wide-body aircraft daily between London Heathrow and Madrid, primarily for the benefit of shipping cargo. As did Finnair between London Heathrow and Helsinki.
As airlines reduced their passenger flight schedules to skeleton services, these flights were replaced with Airbus A320 series aircraft.
In a small sign of services returning to normal, Iberia will operate Airbus A330 and A350 aircraft between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Madrid from Sunday 14 June 2020.
This is primarily for the benefit of cargo and travel restrictions for passengers arriving in both Spain and the UK remain.
International Airlines Group has announced it has ordered 6 Airbus A321XLR aircraft for Aer Lingus and 8 aircraft for Iberia.
The first aircraft will be delivered from 2023. The group has also secured options for a further 14 aircraft, which could be used by any airline in the group.
This is a clear vote of confidence by IAG in the Airbus A321XLR aircraft.
IAG is now doubt attracted by is efficiency and commonality with the Airbus A320 series. It is noteworthy that IAG is keen to emphasise it will offer the same passenger comforts as existing wide body aircraft.
For both Aer Lingus and Iberia, IAG emphasise that the aircraft will be used to facilitate transatlantic expansion.
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.
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.
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.