Iberia, airline of the IAG group, has announced this Sunday that it will recover all its pre-pandemic capacity in the winter season (from 29 October to 25 March), and in the last quarter of 2022 it will already operate 95% of its capacity. In the first quarter of 2023 and thanks to the arrival of new aircraft, Iberia will experience a 105% increase in its 2019 capacity which, in the overall season, will translate into an offer that equals the network of flights and frequencies that it offered before the pandemic, the airline says.
As highlights, Iberia assures that it has already re-established its entire network of flights and destinations in Latin America, is growing in the United States with the route to Dallas, and will carry out a greater deployment on several routes of its short and medium-haul network in Spain and Europe. This is the breakdown by market:
Rio de Janeiro, Caracas and Mexico, protagonists in Latin America
This weekend Iberia has already recovered one hundred percent of its network in Latin America with direct flights to Rio de Janeiro and Caracas, the last two destinations remaining after the pandemic, and with three weekly frequencies on each route.
In Mexico it is also growing and will be the market with the largest offer with three daily flights, along with Bogota, which grows from 10 to 14 weekly frequencies, and Buenos Aires, where Iberia consolidates its two daily flights this season.
In Santiago de Chile, Lima, Sao Paulo and Santo Domingo the daily flight will be maintained, as well as in San José de Costa Rica, which, as of December, consolidates the seven weekly frequencies.
Montevideo will also have a daily flight from January, Panama with six weekly flights, and Havana and Puerto Rico with four weekly flights.
The other most important destinations in this market are: the Guatemala-El Salvador route, which also recovers seven flights, Quito with six and Guayaquil with another three, a total of nine flights to Ecuador.
All in all, Iberia will add nearly 260 weekly flights to the region this winter – most of them daily – linking Europe with 18 destinations in 16 Latin American countries.
15% more capacity in the United States
The United States continues to gain prominence in Iberia’s network and, for the coming winter months, it has increased its capacity compared to 2019. Specifically, it has planned an offer of 589,000 seats, an increase of 15 per cent over 2019, and around 2,000 flights, 21 per cent more than in the pre-pandemic winter.
Iberia is also adding new destinations and will maintain flights to Dallas during the winter season. Although they were initially launched to operate only in summer, they will continue during the winter with three weekly frequencies.
Iberia is also increasing its presence in several US destinations compared to last winter, when restrictions on travel from Europe were only lifted in November. In Miami, it will increase from 10 to 14 weekly frequencies -two daily flights- and in New York, from 10 to 13 weekly frequencies, which will be increased to 14 in March.
Iberia’s programme in the USA is complemented by three flights a week to Boston, another three to Los Angeles and another five flights a week to Chicago.
Iberia’s other major new development in the US will be in December, when it will move to T8 at New York’s JFK airport, along with its partners American Airlines and British Airways. The new terminal offers a much smoother connecting experience with other airlines, and Premium customers will have access to new lounges for a more comfortable journey.
Commitment to the corporate segment in Spain
In the short and medium-haul network, the Iberia group will deploy more capacity in winter 2019, increasing its presence in destinations with more corporate and holiday traffic.
In Spain, Iberia strengthens its position in the Air Shuttle, and recovers all the frequencies it operated before the pandemic. It will offer up to 86 weekly frequencies between Madrid and Barcelona, and customers will have up to 15 daily flights in each direction, with Wednesdays being the busiest days. This represents around 700,000 seats, slightly above the 2019 offer, mainly due to the fact that the route will be operated by Airbus A320neo aircraft with greater capacity.
Record capacity in Rome and Paris
In the rest of Europe, Iberia will concentrate its efforts in Italy. In Rome it will do so with five more weekly frequencies, reaching 37 weekly flights and up to six daily flights from Friday to Sunday, which is an all-time high for the airline in this city. Iberia is also growing in Milan with seven percent more seats.
An all-time high also in Paris, where Iberia and Iberia Express have deployed more capacity than ever before. The two airlines have scheduled 60 weekly frequencies: 46 between Madrid and Orly, operated by Iberia, and another 14 operated by Iberia Express between Madrid and Charles de Gaulle.
In Portugal, Iberia is consolidating its presence in Lisbon with up to 40 weekly flights (six daily flights), in Oporto it is increasing from three to four daily flights compared to last winter, and will offer its route to Funchal throughout the winter with three weekly frequencies.
And in Switzerland, Iberia is increasing its capacity with three more flights to Geneva, bringing the total number of weekly flights to 33.
New destinations in Africa
In Morocco, Iberia is back in operation with its three destinations: Casablanca with nine weekly flights, Marrakech with 10, and Tangier with another five weekly flights.
In addition, in the last month Iberia has added two more destinations to its African operations: Luanda (Angola) in code share with TAAG and with three weekly flights and, for the first time in its history, it will operate charter flights to Amman (Jordan) which it will combine with Cairo (Egypt).