Iberia will offer direct flights from Barcelona to both Miami and Sao Paulo from March next year.
The Spanish carrier is aiming to transform Barcelona’s El Prat airport into “a genuine hub” for flights between Europe and the Americas. The plan is for Iberia Regional and low-cost airline Vueling (in which Iberia owns a 45 per cent stake) to feed passengers into the Catalan hub, and codeshares with American Airlines and Brazilian airline GOL (the latter still being under negotiation) offering connections at Miami and Sao Paulo.
Both services will run three-time weekly from March 28, 2011, using Airbus A340-300 aircraft. Iberia anticipates carrying more than 50,000 passengers on both the routes next year, and in the case of the Barcelona-Miami service it estimates that 31 per cent of passengers will be travelling onwards from Miami, mainly to other US, Mexican, and Central American destinations.
The new transatlantic flights will also be covered by the British Airways/Iberia/American Airlines joint business agreement, meaning BA customers will be able to book tickets for the flights at ba.com, and can earn/redeem Executive Club miles on the routes. BA flies from both Heathrow and London City to Barcelona.
In preparation for Iberia’s new intercontinental hub at Barcelona, the carrier has opened a new maintenance hanger, the only facility at the airport capable of accommodating aircraft with more than 100 seats.
For more information visit iberia.com.
Report by Mark Caswell