Spanish carrier Iberia is looking to increase capacity to Portugal well beyond 2019 levels, leaving behind the COVID-19 crisis in that market. This summer, Iberia will boost its services by 9%. Let’s investigate further.
Increase services to Portugal
On May 1, Iberia will begin operating its summer routes to and from Portugal. The carrier plans to increase its capacity by 9% compared to 2019 and operate up to 76 flights per week by August, the busiest month of the year in this market.
Currently, Iberia operates 56 weekly flights to Portugal, making 9,095 seats available on the market. It has only two routes, connecting Madrid Barajas Airport with Lisbon and Porto.
In addition to year-round flights from Madrid to Lisbon and Porto (mainly operated with Airbus A320 and Airbus A319 airliners), Iberia will add Funchal to its network in May and Faro and the Azores Islands in June.
Iberia’s regional subsidiary, Air Nostrum, will operate routes to Funchal and Faro. This carrier will deploy its fleet of CRJ-1000s with a capacity of 100 passengers in a 2-2 configuration. Air Nostrum has ten aircraft of this model produced by Bombardier Regional Aircraft.
Air Nostrum also operates a fleet of CRJ-900, CRJ-200 and ATR-72 aircraft, according to its website. In total, it has a fleet of 42 aircraft, according to its website.
Meanwhile, the flight to the Azores will be operated by Iberia on board its fleet of Airbus A320s.
Air Nostrum will use its fleet of CRJ-1000s to operate flights to Funchal and Faro. Photo: Getty Images.
Launch of courses
Iberia and Air Nostrum will operate these seasonal routes between May 1 and the end of October.
The connection to Funchal will start with three flights a week, on Monday, Friday and Sunday, before increasing to five weekly flights in July and daily in August.
On June 2, Iberia will launch its second summer destination in Portugal, Faro, in the Algarve region. It will start with two daily flights before increasing to five in July and daily in August.
As previously stated, both of these routes will be operated by Air Nostrum’s fleet of CRJ-1000s.
Finally, the line between Madrid and Ponta Delgada in the Azores will have two weekly services on Tuesdays and Saturdays from June to September.
For these flights, the airline will use 173-seat Airbus A320s.
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Iberia will also add services to Lisbon and Porto. Photo: Iberia.
Increase connectivity to Lisbon and Porto
In addition to Faro, Funchal and the Azores (which are leisure destinations for the summer season), Iberia will reinforce its flights to Lisbon and Porto, main cities in Portugal.
This summer, the carrier IAG will offer 36 weekly flights between Madrid and Lisbon, compared to 33 in 2019. It competes with TAP Air Portugal, easyJet and Air Europa on this route.
Likewise, Iberia will offer up to 28 weekly frequencies (four daily flights) from May to October on the Madrid-Porto route. In 2019, it operated 26 weekly frequencies. This route also counts Ryanair, easyJet and Air Europa as players.
“In Lisbon and Porto, there will be round-the-clock flights for the convenience of business travellers. The first flight leaves Madrid at 06:35 and the last leaves at 23:05 for a return the same day. The first Madrid-Porto flight leaves at 08:20 and the last at 19:35.
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