Spanish carrier Air Europa is to introduce the Boeing 787 Dreamliner into its fleet in the second quarter of 2015 but has changed its proposed schedule for the aircraft and will instead deploy the modern generation airliner on its Madrid – Miami route.
We revealed last month that Air Europa will deploy the 787 on its network from Madrid Barajas Airport in summer 2015, one year ahead of the arrival of its own equipment on order, after signing a one-year contract to lease an aircraft from LOT Polish Airlines. The arrangement will enable the carrier to offer an enhanced service on both routes, while it will support the Polish carrier’s over capacity as it continues its business restructuring.
The SkyTeam alliance member initially planned to debut the aircraft on a weekly service to New York from April 12, 2015 and a three times weekly route to Montevideo from April 13, 2015. However, this week it has emerged that the aircraft will instead be used on the airline’s Madrid – Miami route from April 12, 2015, originally due to be served by an Airbus A330-200.
According to its revised schedule in the GDS, Air Europa will initially serve the route with the Dreamliner on a five times weekly basis but will add a sixth weekly frequency from June 4, 2015 and a seventh weekly rotation from June 23, 2015 to offer a daily schedule (UX097 MAD1530 – 1850MIA 787; UX098 MIA2150 – 1220+1MAD 787 x24).
Air Europa placed a firm order for eight 787-8s in March 2007, but revealed in October last year that its parent, Spanish tourism conglomerate Globalia, had firmed up options for eight Boeing 787-8s switching these to the larger 787-9 in the process. The original 787-8 order remains current in the Boeing orderbook and it is believed the additional aircraft will be sourced via lessors rather than directly from the manufacturer.
Following a major restructuring to cut losses and counter falling demand in Spain following its economic downturn, Air Europa has repositioned itself as a network carrier from its hub at Madrid Barajas Airport. Its first 787-8 is due in 2016 and it expects to operate all eight aircraft by the end of 2017, with the 787-9s following between 2018 and 2020.
The lease deal with LOT will enable Air Europa to hit the ground running when its own 787s arrive. “The 787 will give us the edge to launch the newly-acquired B787 as soon as they arrive," confirmed José Hidalgo, chairman, Globalia, late last year with the airline’s own crews working alongside LOT’s staff over this one-year contract.