Iberia has announced a further ramping up of its ‘Puente Aereo’ (Air Bridge) service between Madrid and Barcelona.

This winter the carrier will offer up to 86 weekly frequencies on the route, with as many as 15 daily flights in each direction.

There will be nearly 700,000 seats available, which Iberia says is slightly above 2019 levels, mainly due to the fact that the service is being operated with larger capacity A320 neo aircraft.

The airline will offer flights every 30 minutes between Madrid and Barcelona during peak hours, with the first services departing Madrid and Barcelona at 0700, and the last flights leaving Madrid at 2115 and Barcelona at 2105.

Iberia said that the increased frequencies would help drive the corporate market on a domestic route which traditionally sees the highest percentage of business traffic.

The carrier reinstated its “Arrive and Fly” service on the Puente Aereo route in November 2021, allowing customers to arrive at Barcelona airport up to 20 minutes before their flight.

Iberia to ramp up Barcelona-Madrid shuttle service

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 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

Iberia is celebrating its 95th anniversary this year, with its first flight taking place between Barcelona and Madrid on December 14, 1927, using a ten-seater Rohrbach-Roland aircraft.