Vueling poised to take over domestic and European traffic after Spanair demise
Thursday 2, February 2012
Vueling, Spain’s new-generation airline, is set to capture a significant part of the domestic and European traffic affected by the demise of Spanair, which suspended flights on Saturday, January 28.
As a result, Vueling’s Summer 2012 programme will offer as much as a 50% increase in capacity over 2011 from its home base in Barcelona, and a 25% growth overall.
Speaking to media in Barcelona, CEO Alex Cruz announced that the carrier will add a total of 33 new frequencies to its existing domestic and European routes reaching, in some cases, up to 14 daily flights between Madrid and Barcelona, nine to Bilbao and eight to Seville and Palma Mallorca, among others.
Vueling already flies to 72 destinations in Continental Europe, the British Isles, North Africa and the Middle East. Initial plans before the Spanair situation called for new routes as of March 25 from Barcelona to Copenhagen and Stockholm, four times per week. Given the new circumstances, these plans have been brought forward and augmented to the tune of 11 weekly flights to each of these Scandinavian airports, effective immediately.
New routes previously flown by Spanair will also be put in daily operation as of March 25 to Berlin and Hamburg, along with an increase to four daily frequencies on Vueling´s existing Munich service.
The Barcelona-based carrier will also operate new routes from its Bilbao base to the Canary Islands with routes to Tenerife (three times weekly), Las Palmas (twice weekly) and Lanzarote (twice weekly).
All in all, Vueling’s summer 2012 schedule will represent a 25% increase in capacity overall, and a 50% leap in its seat offer from Vueling’s main base in Barcelona. To absorb this additional production, Vueling is in advanced talks with lessors to add five or more Airbus A320 aircraft to its current fleet of 43.
Commenting on the expansion, Alex Cruz said that Vueling has “more positive attributes than any player,” to offer an “unbeatable product within Spain and throughout Europe.” Cruz cited a high number of multi-frequency routes, availability on all GDS systems, on-line check-in, seat assignment andbusiness-class service elements such as two-per-row seating, guaranteed cabin-luggage space, OneWorld-aligned miles “and many other characteristicsthat set us apart from the low-cost model.”
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