Iberia has announced plans to increase the number of “Puente Aereo” (Air Bridge) shuttle services between Barcelona and Madrid, as part of its efforts to “reactivate business travel”.

This winter the carrier will offer up to 11 daily weekday flights (Monday to Thursday) in either direction spread between the hours of 0700 and 2100, with a total of 65 to 68 weekly services.

This still leaves frequencies significantly below previous levels – in 2017 Iberia and Vueling were operating up to 26 daily weekday services on the route.

Iberia and Vueling enhance Madrid-Barcelona shuttle service

Iberia said that the timings would allow customers to “make the most of the day in the two cities”, as well as providing onward connection opportunities from both Barcelona and Madrid.

In addition the carrier is reinstating the “Arrive and Fly” service on the Puente Aereo route from November 10, allowing customers to arrive at Barcelona airport up to 20 minutes before their flight.

Meanwhile at Madrid Iberia has extended the opening hours of its Dali Premium Lounge to 0600-2300, and the airport’s VIP parking service has also reopened.

Puente Aereo customers are able to change their flight as many times as needed without a fee, using the Iberia app.

The one hour and 15 minute Puente Aereo service competes with the high-speed rail route between Madrid and Barcelona, which has a journey time of around two and a half hours.

As our consumer editor Alex McWhirter has previously reported, Spanish high-speed rail is becoming increasing competitive, with national operators including Trenitalia’s ILSA (a joint venture with Air Nostrum), preparing to enter the market.

ILSA prepares for Spanish high-speed rail services