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

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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

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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

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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.

Iberia returns to Havana & launches Medellin & Cali in Colombia

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Iberia (Image Credit: Iberia)

Some positive signs of a real turnaround and expansion at Iberia.

The airline is to reinstate flights between Madrid and Havana in Cuba from 1 June 2015. Flights will operate five weekly, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sundays.

Iberia will also add Cali and Medellin in Colombia to its route network from 3 July 2015.

This will operate as a “triangular” route, whereby Iberia will fly Madrid – Medellin, Medellin – Cali, and Cali -Madrid. Flights operate three times weekly on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

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The story of an airline turnaround: IAG & Iberia

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

This post is perhaps for students of aviation rather than the travelling public at large, but it is something worth noting in any event.

We have written much in recent years about British Airways’ International Airlines Group (“IAG”) sibling Iberia, and the wildly divergent financial performance of the two airlines since the formation of IAG four years ago in 2011.

Since Iberia started to report very heavy losses in 2012, IAG has taken a number of steps to improve the performance of Iberia.

This has included a complete overhaul of its senior management by a new CEO and (after bitter and unedifying industrial action with some rather unpleasant anti-British sentiment) reaching new collective agreements with its pilots and other staff working groups.

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Iberia launches London Gatwick – Madrid

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

Ever since the marriage of BA and Iberia a little under four years ago, we have often wondered why Iberia has not taken advantage of BA’s distribution and marketing to operate more flights from UK airports to its Madrid hub.

There have been short-lived flights from Glasgow to Madrid, but little more. Now, as part of a significant expansion of Iberia’s short-haul network (which includes the launch of flights from Manchester and Edinburgh to Madrid), Iberia is to launch twice daily flights from London Gatwick to Madrid from Sunday 29 March 2015.

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Iberia ends long-running dispute with its pilot union, SEPLA

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Iberia (Image Credit: Iberia)

When British Airways and Iberia merged in January 2011 under the umbrella of International Airlines Group, the logic seemed clear.

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Iberia’s new CEO, Luis Gallego, overhauls Iberia’s management

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Iberia’s new CEO, Luis Gallego, announced a new leadership team for Iberia on Friday 10 May 2013. The number of directors reporting to the Iberia CEO has been reduced to nine. Of the nine strong management team, four are external appointments and the remainder are internal promotions.

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