American Airlines and Iberia Express, a low-cost subsidiary of American's joint business partner Iberia, have received approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to...

American Airlines and Iberia Express, a low-cost subsidiary of American’s joint business partner Iberia, have received approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to launch a codeshare agreement.

The new codeshare agreement allows American to place its ‘AA’ code on flights marketed by Iberia and operated by Iberia Express, between its hub at Madrid Barajas Airport and 14 destinations throughout Europe.


Iberia Express is a low-cost carrier owned by Iberia, itself a subsidiary of International Airlines Group. Formed to operate routes from Iberia’s Madrid hub that Iberia wasn’t able to operate profitably itself, Iberia Express is staffed by newly employed pilots and flight attendants hired at lower rates than Iberia’s crew. However, the carrier uses a fleet of Airbus A320s provided by the parent airline, which expected Iberia Express to be operating 14 A320s by the end of 2012 and 40 by 2015

 

Codeshare flights under the new agreement are available for booking from September 4 for travel from September 10.

“This is a strategic agreement for Iberia Express,” says Silvia Mosquera, chief commercial officer of Iberia Express. “The joint operation of our routes enables us to offer our customers better connections between Europe and North America, and optimizes our resources in terms of profitability.”

American Airlines AAdvantage members have the ability to earn and redeem miles for award travel on Iberia Express.

In addition, American and Iberia Express are both members of the oneworld alliance, whose global network serves more than 900 destinations in more than 150 countries.

Iberia Express, a subsidiary of Iberia, began commercial operations on March 25, 2012.

It operates short- and medium-haul routes using a fleet of Airbus A320s acquired from its parent carrier. Iberia Express currently flies to 12 Spanish domestic destinations: Alicante, Malaga, Seville, Palma de Majorca, Granada, Menorca, Vigo, Lanzarote, Ibiza, Santiago de Compostela, Fuerteventura and La Palma.

The low-cost Iberia unit also operates from Madrid Barajas Airport to six European locations: Dublin, Naples, Riga, Mykonos, Edinburgh and Amsterdam. Iberia Express provides a direct traffic feed to Iberia’s long-haul network and offers all the same customer services as does the parent company.

Iberia Express expects to end 2012 with more than 20 national and European destinations, a fleet of 14 aircraft and a workforce of approximately 500 people.

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