Iberia unveils its new 2011 destinations at Fitur
Friday 21, January 2011
Pursuing its strategy to enlarge its network of long-haul flights, at this year's Fitur travel fair in Madrid Iberia has unveiled five destination never before served from Spain: Los Angeles, Recife, Fortaleza, Cordoba (Argentina), and San Salvador.
These cities represent a unique opportunity in both directions for the Spanish holiday industry, and Iberia is the sole airline with direct flights to all of them.
Also debuting this year are Iberia's first transatlantic flights from Barcelona to Miami and to São Paulo. The airline also launched direct flights to Panama City at the start of the winter season.
Five new destinations, five new opportunities
On February 1st, Iberia launches direct flights from Madrid to Recife and Fortaleza, two of the hottest new tourist destinations in Brazil's northeast, whose tropical climate means great holidays at any time of the year. Iberia is the sole company to offer direct flights to this region, opening up an opportunity for tourists and investors alike.
These flights strengthen Brazil's status as Iberia's most important destination in Latin America (with up to three daily flights to São Paulo and Rio), and also as the market that will grow the most in 2011. Iberia forecasts a total of some 80,000 passengers on the new route in the first year of operation.
At the kickoff of the summer season in March, the company will launch direct flights from Madrid to Los Angeles. Iberia thus becomes the first airline to link Spain to one of the richest in regions California and the second-largest city in the United States by population
This is Iberia's first new route under the terms of the Joint Business Agreement with American Airlines and British Airways, covering services across the North Atlantic, and which are added to the British Airways' new London-San Diego flight, Iberia's new Barcelona-Miami service, and American Airline's new Helsinki-Chicago and New York-Budapest routes.
These new destinations follow in the wake of the new Iberia services launched in late 2010 to link Spain and the rest of Europe with Cordoba in Argentina, and San Salvador, becoming the first European airline to offer direct flights from Europe to these two destinations.
The opening of the route to the central Argentine city of Cordoba is expected to help stimulate European investment in this vast inland province of which it is the capital. The new service will also facilitate tourism and family visits by Argentines resident in Europe. Iberia will also be in a position to carry exports from the Cordoba region to all European destinations.
Forecasts point to as many as 70,000 passengers in the first year of operation, and indeed, seat occupancy rates exceeded 76% in the first few months. This new connection strengthens Iberia's leadership in Argentina where it expects to increase its current Europe-Argentina market share to 30% from the current 26%.
With the launch of services to San Salvador, in combination with those to Guatemala City, Iberia is making the Salvadoran capital its distribution hub in the region for passengers en route to or from Managua, San Pedro Sula, or Tegucigalpa.
San Salvador, Iberia's fourth Central American destination, is one of the region's least known countries, although it is one of the most enchanting in all the Americas, thanks particularly to its untouched natural beauty spots. These flights expand Iberia's presence in Central America, and strengthen its market leadership. Some 40,000 passengers will be carried in the first year, and seat occupancy of 80% is expected.
Another new development in Central America is the launch of direct flights between Spain and Panama, implying a 55% increase in seat supply to Panama City, that cultural meeting point that straddles the fabled Panama Canal. Iberia expects a passenger load factor of more than 82% on this route.
These direct flights are further testimony to Iberia's commitment to Central America, where it also operates a daily flight to San José, Costa Rica, and another four weekly flights to Guatemala City.
Transatlantic Flights from Barcelona
Iberia's transatlantic services from Barcelona will open with the new Barcelona-Miami route on March 29th, with flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. From Miami passengers can connect to the rest of the United States via American Airlines. This new route will also be a part of the Joint Business Agreement with American Airlines and British Airways.
This year will also bring the launch of new Iberia flights between Barcelona and São Paulo, with three frequencies per week. From São Paulo, passengers can continue to another 13 domestic destinations in Brazil with other partner airlines.
Two Milestones: the Merger and the Joint Business Agreement
The year 2010 witnessed the culmination of the merger process between Iberia and British Airways and the signing of the Joint Business Agreement by Iberia, British Airways and American Airlines.
Iberia and BA are creating a new giant of the air, with flights to more than 200 destinations around the world and more than 400 aircraft. Together they carry more than 60 million passengers per year, with joint annual sales of some 15,000 million euros.
In addition, Iberia's leadership in Latin America and BA's strength in North America make the group the leader in flights between the Old and the New Worlds.
Furthermore, thanks to the Joint Business Agreement signed by Iberia, British Airways, and American Airlines to cover North Atlantic routes, Iberia customers have more destinations, better connections, a wider choice of fares, and more Iberia Plus points.
More and more travellers think that researching and planning a European city break is half the fun and they're not interested in pre-arranged trips or escorted tours. Self-guided tours offer a lot of advantages but require some guidance and good resources.
With the recent wild fires, disrupting flights and increasing air pollution, environmental quality is a growing factor in attracting tourists.
The hotel price comparison site www.trivago.co.uk has put together a list of the fifteen most spectacular hotel rooftop terraces in the world.