A focus on providing same-day return flights on European business routes will form a key part of Spanish flag-carrier Iberia’s winter schedule.
The airline said it intends to serve more than 70 destinations during the winter season, representing about 70% of its pre-pandemic network.
The IAG subsidiary's carriers—Iberia, Iberia Express and Iberia Regional Air Nostrum—will between them offer nearly 700 direct return flights from Madrid (MAD) during December, which equates to around 40% of the capacity offered in 2019.
Iberia said it is placing a new focus on same-day return flights for business travelers from Spain to other European destinations. There will be at least two return flights every day on 80% of domestic routes and the busiest 32% of European routes.
Elsewhere, flights to São Paulo (GRU) were resumed at the end of October, and operations to Rio de Janeiro (GIG), Medellin (MDE) and Cali (CLO) will begin in December. Service to Caracas (CCS) is pending the reopening of Venezuela airspace.
Frequency on the Puente Aereo walk-on shuttle between MAD and Barcelona (BCN) is also set to double from the current 24 to 43 return flights per week.
“At Iberia we believe strongly that recovery is possible, and we plan to do our part. We are eager to help our customers reactivate their businesses and other activities, and to this end we are returning this season with more flights, more destinations, and all the services our customers have come to expect from us,” Iberia chairman Javier Sánchez-Prieto said.
“Airlines are proving that health and safety, which remain our highest priority, are perfectly compatible with connectivity and the services that improve the air travel experience, while also helping to drive economic activity.”
Earlier this week, Iberia Express announced plans to expand its UK operations with new seasonal routes to Manchester (MAN) and Newcastle (NCL) over the Christmas holiday period. The flights to Lanzarote (ACE), Gran Canaria (LPA) and MAD will operate between Dec. 26 and Jan. 3.
“As the holiday season begins, we believe that it is important to support connectivity by strengthening our flight program with new routes and more frequencies that allow our clients to reach their preferred destinations,” Iberia Express CCO Evandro Vianna said.
Photo credit: Joe Pries