European carriers Iberia and Meridiana have extended their existing codeshare agreement to cover the new Madrid - Naples route that the Italian carrier has just launched. Meridiana introduced the new route from October 26, 2014 as part of an expansion of its network from Naples International Airport.
The four times weekly Naples – Madrid route, flown by an Air Italy Boeing 737, has joined Bologna, Genoa and Geneva as new destinations to be served by Meridiana from Naples. The launch has marked the return of regular year-round flights between the cities after an almost two year gap since after easyJet ended its flights in late 2012.
Iberia’s regional partner Air Nostrum also serves the market but on a seasonal basis only having ended its regular route in January 2012 in favour of a summer only offering suring the peak season.
The new arrangement will enable passengers to fly to other destinations - through Naples to Meridiana domestic destinations and via Madrid to 62 cities in Iberia’s network. It will act as a pre-cursor to an extended partnership which will likely be introduced when Iberia Express debuts on the route next year.
“Meridiana has been our partner for many years and we are glad to be able to extend our codeshare agreement with the Italian airline to Naples, which adds a new destination to our network in Italy,” said Neil Chernoff, director of network development and alliances, Iberia.
In our analysis, below, we look in greater detail at historical point-to-point passenger demand on the route between Naples and Madrid over the past ten years and how additional non-stop capacity has helped stimulate demand on the city pair.
The data clearly shows that as low-cost carriers easyJet and Vueling entered this market their low-fare offering helped boost demand, albeit the closure of the routes suggests that the point-to-point market may not have been able sustain such levels of capacity, thus the importance this codeshare arrangement brings to the new Meridiana service.