Vueling continues its steady, if slightly haphazard, expansion in the UK with the launch of a new route from London Gatwick to Santiago de Compostela, the capital of northwest Spain’s Galicia region. The route operates from Wednesday 30 March 2016.
Flight VY7389 Depart London Gatwick 20:30 – Arrive Santiago de Compostela 23:30 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
Flight VY7388 Depart Santiago de Compostela 18:35 – Arrive London Gatwick 19:40 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
On other days, indirect routings are available via Vueling’s hub in Barcelona.
Vueling has a growing presence in the UK, and specifically London, albeit without a natural base.
From London Gatwick, Vueling also flies to Barcelona, Bilbao, Paris (Charles de Gaulle), Rome-Fiumicino, and Florence. From Heathrow, Vueling flies to La Coruña and Barcelona. This summer, Vueling will also fly from London Luton to Barcelona and Amsterdam.
Vueling is part of International Airlines Group with British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus. Vueling’s flights to Santiago de Compostela can also be booked as codeshares with BA and Iberia.
Update January 2018: Vueling will suspend this route from Friday 23 March 2018. easyJet will fly the route on Wednesday and Saturday from Wednesday 28 March 2018.
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.
The offer by International Airlines Group (“IAG”) to acquire the 54% of Vueling’s shares that it does not already own expired on Friday 19 April 2013.
The airline group initially made an offer priced at €7.00 per share which Vueling management chose not to recommend. IAG subsequently increased its offer to €9.25 per share. However, the minimum acceptance level was reduced to just 4.16% of Vueling’s capital to leave IAG with at least overall control of Vueling, if not 100% ownership.
Assuming the transaction completes this will be the second airline acquired by IAG since its formation in 2011 and the third member airline of the group (the first acquisition, bmi, being subsumed into British Airways).
Why is IAG so interested in Vueling and what does it have planned?