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Iberia's 95 Years




Kevan James

December, 2022.


95 years on, the Air Shuttle Remains Iberia's Big Commitment to Spain

  • The first commercial Iberia flight linked Barcelona and Madrid on 14 December 1927.

  • For the coming winter season, the airline offers 86 weekly flights between Madrid and Barcelona, with a slightly higher capacity than pre-pandemic. This means up to 15 daily flights each way.

  • In 1974, Iberia’s operation between Barcelona and Madrid became an Air Shuttle due to its number of frequencies, the first route of this type to be launched in Europe.

Iberia celebrates the 95th anniversary of its first flight, which covered the route between Barcelona and Madrid and was an early precursor of the Air Shuttle, which, 95 years later, continues to be Iberia’s biggest commitment to connectivity and corporate traffic in Spain.


Currently, the airline operates 86 weekly flights for this route, bringing the number of daily flights to 15. In the winter season, Iberia will offer close to 700,000 seats, a figure that is already slightly above the route’s pre-Covid capacity. The airline connects Madrid and Barcelona with Airbus A320neo aircraft, the most sustainable and high-capacity of its short- and medium-haul fleet.


The Air Shuttle, opened in 1974 and becoming the first route of its kind in Europe, today continues to connect Madrid and Barcelona under the "arrive and fly" philosophy that characterises this service, as it allows customers to arrive up to 20 minutes before the flight’s departure and offers total flexibility in the connections between both cities.


95 Years Ago Iberia Took Flight


Sitting in wicker seats and bound for the Cuatro Vientos aerodrome in Madrid, 10 people began their journey from Barcelona on the first commercial Iberia flight, which took place on 14 December 1927.


Together with two crew members, their luggage and the plane’s cargo, they flew in a Rohrbach Roland three-engine aircraft, whose maximum speed was 205 km/h, which allowed them to complete the journey in three and a half hours. Upon its arrival, King Alfonso XIII presided over the act that formalised the birth of the airline, which had been founded six months previously.


From that day onward, Iberia offered daily flights between Madrid and Barcelona, with a fleet of three Rohrbach Rolands. Over the first month of operation, a total of 287 passengers travelled on 75 flights. The fare was 163 pesetas for a one-way trip and 300 pesetas for a round trip.


Iberia's Aircraft through the years:


Douglas DC-3

Lockheed Constellation

Convair Metropolitan

SUD Caravelle

Bristol Freighter

Douglas DC-8

Douglas DC-9

Douglas DC-10

Boeing 747

Boeing 727

McDonnell-Douglas MD-87

Boeing 757

Airbus A340

Airbus A320

Airbus A330


Airbus A350



All images - Iberia.








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