The airline company Iberia is offering 15 seasonal destinations this summer Portugalin Croatiain Italy or in Greece among others, as well as charter flights to Tirana in Albania. She also pleads for the maintenance of her short domestic flights even when a railway alternative is possible, supporting figures.
The first weekend of June 2023 marked the start of the operation of a large part of the summer routes of the Iberia Group, based at the airport of Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez, with an offer of 15 destinations to satisfy demand for holiday traffic to Europe. With the low cost Iberia-Express And Iberia Regional/Air Nostrum, the Spanish flag carrier offers seasonal direct flights to Ponta Delgada and Faro in Portugal; Zagreb and Split in Croatia; Olbia, Catania and Bari in Italy; Corfu, Crete, Mykonos and Santorini in Greece, as well as Edinburgh in Scotland, Reykjavik in Iceland and Bergen in Norway.
Portuguese: flights to Faro have started, operated by Iberia Regional/Air Nostrum. They start with two weekly frequencies, which will increase to five weekly flights in June and one daily flight in August. For the second consecutive year, Iberia offers flights to Ponta Delgada, in the Azores, from July 3 to September 30; there will be three weekly frequencies in July and August and two in September. The Iberia group’s offer in Portugal is completed by flights offered all year round to Lisbon (up to 36 weekly frequencies), Porto (up to 26 weekly frequencies) and Funchal (up to 7 weekly frequencies).
Croatia: on June 3, the first flights to Zagreb, where in June, July and September, Iberia will offer three direct flights per week, which will increase in August to a daily flight. Direct flights from Iberia to Split will begin on June 18 with three weekly frequencies, Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays. In July, two additional frequencies will be added, on Fridays and Saturdays, and in August there will be a daily flight. Iberia also flies all year round to Dubrovnik ; in June and July there will be one daily flight, up to two in August.
I’Italy is another of the “featured countries every summer”. Flights to Catania are offered with three weekly frequencies in June, six in July and eight in August. Iberia has also relaunched its direct flights to Olbia, in Sardinia, with a weekly frequency that will gradually increase to four weekly frequencies in August. On June 16, flights to bari, in southern Italy, will resume with three weekly frequencies in June and September, and four weekly frequencies in July and August. These flights will be jointly operated by Iberia and Iberia Express aircraft. Iberia’s offer in Italy also includes other regular destinations: Rome, Venice, Milan, Florence, Bologna, Naples and Turin.
Greece: Greek beaches “are unmissable in summer”. As every year, Iberia Express serves Heraklion, in Crete, by offering two weekly frequencies from mid-June to mid-September. Towards Mykonos, it will offer five and six weekly flights respectively during the central summer months. And to Santorini, a weekly frequency in June will increase to four and five in July and August respectively. All three destinations begin with direct flights on June 16. And two days later, Iberia launches a third Greek destination, Corfu, where she will fly three times a week until September 30. “Of course”, Iberia continues to offer its flights to Athens in summer, which increase to 15 weekly frequencies in June, 21 in July and 26 weekly flights in August.
The Spanish group also serves summer destinations in North Europe. At the end of March, Iberia Express resumed its flights to Reykjavík in Iceland. It offers two weekly frequencies, except from June 19 to September 14 when there will be three weekly frequencies. On June 18, flights to Edinburgh, twice a week until September 14. For its part, Iberia will offer two weekly flights to Bergen“the Norwegian capital of the fjords”, from July 1 to September 2.
“Furthermore, these summer lines serve to take the pulse of demand in these markets, as happened with Dubrovnik and, more recently, Funchal which became a year-round service last winter.”
The alliance company Oneworld further adds a new destination (its 136th), Tirana in Albania, to last year’s summer offer with charter flights every Tuesday from June 20 to September 26 marketed by World2Meet, the travel division of the Iberostar group. ” It is a still little-known destination, which combines a rich cultural heritage with impressive nature. World2Meet offers a range of vacation packages, all-inclusive stays at Meliá hotels and stays that include day trips “, underlines its press release.
Iberia has also published a study by the consulting firm PwC according to which ” every million passengers on domestic flights generates 102 million euros of GDP and 1852 jobs in Spain “. The routes that connect Madrid to Barcelona, Malaga, Seville, Valencia and Alicante “contributed to 329 million euros of GDP and almost 6,000 full-time jobs in 2022”, These domestic flights are essential to guarantee national connectivity and in peripheral areas and connect with medium and long-haul flights, “key to the arrival of tourists, the development of the economy, the creation of quality jobs and the attraction of foreign investment”. I’alternative to short-haul flights “requires the deployment of an efficient intermodal system that transports between eight and ten high-speed lines per hour to T4 at Madrid-Barajas airport”, insists Iberia, while domestic flights represent “less than 1% of total CO2 emissions in Spain, a percentage that decreases every year thanks to investments in sustainable aviation and fleet renewal”.
Beatriz Guillén, Global Sales Director at Iberia, said: “ as long as there is not a real intermodal system allowing efficient connection airports with high-speed railways, it is impossible to replace short-haul flights with train travel. Without domestic flights, it is not possible to meet the demand of millions of travelers who must connect with their medium and long-haul flights “.
Five short-haul routes with a high speed alternative in two and a half hours have been studied, connecting Madrid with Barcelona, Malaga, Valencia, Alicante and-Seville. The development of high-speed rail on these five axes “has led to a loss of air quota and a reduction of flight frequencies “. Travelers have replaced the plane with the high-speed train “for journeys where it offers a satisfactory alternative, mainly point-to-point. Between 2007 and 2019, the number of passengers who traveled by air on the five routes studied increased more than halved, going from 8.97 to 4.06 million”, emphasizes Iberia. Who says he has “mainly maintained the frequencies which allow the transfer of passengers who carry out long-haul trips »: between 2003 and 2022, the number of frequencies was reduced by an average of 64% on the five lines studied.
However, note, the airline, short-haul flights remain essential to transfer passengers to the Madrid-Barajas hub from where Iberia “and other airlines” connect Spain to international destinationsparticularly in Latin America and the United States.