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Iberia Returns to Pre-Pandemic Activity Levels

Kevan James

August 4, 2022.

Iberia is finalising its 2022-2023 winter programme, which begins on 30 October and will run until 25 March 2023. The airline continues to consolidate the recovery of its entire flight and destination network, and this winter it will offer the same capacity as it did before the pandemic, largely thanks to the relaunch of its latest routes in Latin America, its commitment to US flights, and to a greater deployment of flights in its short- and medium-haul network.

  • The airline has restarted flights to its last two destinations in Latin America - Caracas and Rio de Janeiro - and is expanding in others such as Havana, Quito-Guayaquil, and Guatemala-El Salvador

  • In the US, Iberia will extend its direct flights to Dallas into the winter season, although this route was initially launched for the summer season and will increase frequencies in New York and Miami.

  • In Europe, Iberia will maintain the route with Funchal and increase capacity in several destinations such as Milan, Rome, and Geneva

  • In the domestic market, Iberia reinforces its commitment to the cities with the highest corporate traffic, such as Barcelona and Bilbao

  • Iberia Express will increase its activity by 49% in the Balearic Islands and 28% in the Canary Islands

Latin America

Iberia is committed to restarting direct flights to Rio de Janeiro and Caracas, the last two destinations that were still pending after the pandemic, and, starting in November, the airline will offer three weekly frequencies on each of the routes.

The other most relevant developments in this market are Havana, from three to five weekly frequencies, the Guatemala-El Salvador route, from five to seven weekly frequencies, Quito, with six weekly flights, and Guayaquil, with three.

Mexico continues to be the market with the greatest number of flights available, along with Bogotá, Colombia and Buenos Aires, Argentina, where Iberia will consolidate its two daily flights this winter season. To Santiago de Chile, Lima, Peru and Sao Paulo, Brazil, daily flights are maintained, as well as to San José in Costa Rica, which goes from six to seven weekly frequencies. Montevideo and Panama will have six weekly flights and Puerto Rico will have four throughout the winter.

Dallas/Ft Worth extended into the winter season

In the United States, the main change is the extension of the Dallas/Ft Worth operation into the winter season. Initially, Iberia launched this service as a new route just for this summer until 29 October. Dallas/Ft Worth however, is the main hub for American Airlines - an Iberia, British Airways, Finnair, and Aer Lingus partner in the JBA for the North Atlantic - and generates enough traffic to maintain this route also in winter, with three weekly frequencies until February and four in March. Iberia operates the route with the Airbus A330, allowing customers to enjoy its full range: Business, Premium Economy, and Economy.

In addition, the Spanish carrier is growing several destinations in the US compared to last winter, as travel restrictions from Europe were not lifted until last November.

Miami services will increase from 10 to 14 weekly frequencies -two daily flights- and in New York, from 10 to 13 weekly frequencies, reaching 14 in March.

Greater capacity on short- and medium-haul flights

In its short and medium-haul network, the Iberia Group intends to deploy even greater capacity than in the 2019 winter, with a commitment to both corporate and leisure markets.

In Europe, the airline is focussing on Italy, with seven extra frequencies to Milan (going from 28 to 35 weekly flights) and four extra ones to Rome (37 weekly flights). At both destinations, it will offer an average of five daily flights in each direction.

Iberia will offer up to 40 weekly flights to Lisbon, Portugal (up to six daily flights), and will operate its route to Funchal through the winter with three weekly frequencies.

Geneva, Brussels, and Bordeaux are other corporate routes where Iberia will increase its capacity. Geneva will reach 34 weekly frequencies (up to five daily flights); Brussels will offer up to three daily frequencies; and to Bordeaux, Iberia Regional/Air Nostrum will also increase its flights, reaching three daily frequencies.

Within Spain, Iberia, Iberia Express, and Iberia Regional/Air Nostrum will focus on business traffic and also on the Balearic and Canary Islands.

In the winter season, Iberia will resume all its operations on the Madrid-Barcelona Air Shuttle service, reaching pre-pandemic levels, with 87 weekly frequencies and up to 15 daily flights in each direction.

The airline is also expanding in Bilbao, with up to six daily flights; in La Coruña, Asturias, and Vigo, with up to four daily flights; and in Santiago, Santander, and San Sebastián, with three daily flights.

For its part, Iberia Express will increase its capacity in the Balearic Islands by around 49% compared to the same period in 2019-20, with particularly significant growth on the Madrid-Ibiza route. In the Canary Islands, it will increase capacity by around 28%, especially in Tenerife, Lanzarote, and La Palma, with over one million seats on offer.

Iberia Express will also strengthen its flight programme to other national destinations such as Malaga and Seville, and international destinations such as Copenhagen, Dublin, Berlin, and Lyon.

Images courtesy of Iberia


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