As part of its new “Transformation Plan” to reduce operating costs and increase revenues in order to heighten its competitiveness and restore profitability, Spanish carrier Iberia plans to optimize its route network in 2013.
The route network changes mean that this summer, when overall demand increases, Iberia will introduce more capacity to the U.S cities it serves from Madrid.
From Miami International Airport, Iberia will operate two daily flights to Madrid in the summer season from April to October.
The Spanish carrier will operate three flights a day from New York JFK between June and August (offering an average of 15 flights a week during the summer season from April to October).
Iberia will serve Boston Logan International Airport with a daily flight in June and six flights a week in July and August. It will average five flights a week over the summer season from April to October.
From Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Iberia will operate a daily flight throughout the year.
Iberia will offer three flights a week from Los Angeles International Airport in April and May, increasing to four a week from June to August. The carrier will not operate the route from January through March due to very low demand during this period.
The Spanish airline is suspending its non-stop flight linking San Juan in Puerto Rico with Madrid Barajas Airport, but will offer service from San Juan via Miami and New York, by means of codeshare flights on oneworld partner American Airlines.
From February, Iberia will introduce on its routes to the U.S. the new Airbus A330-300 widebodies it has ordered.
Miami, New York, Boston and Chicago will be Iberia’s first A330-300 destinations. However, Iberia will continue to operate A340-600s to Los Angeles because of the very long route distance involved, which is beyond the range capability of the A330-300.
According to Iberia, the new A330s emit 15 per cent less CO2 (and thus burn 15 per cent less fuel on a comparable sector) than the Airbus A340-300 aircraft they will gradually replace.
Iberia will equip its new Airbus A330s with its new Business Class and Economy Class cabins. The new Business Class cabin includes improvements over the current offering, offering longer beds, a greater degree of privacy, more storage space and a larger array of in-flight entertainment opportunities.
“The large investment we are making in long-haul aircraft will help us consolidate our presence on routes between the U.S. and Spain, which is our main long haul market,” says Ángel Valdemoros, head of international sales for Iberia.
According to Iberia, the new Business Class cabin offers full flat-bed seats and 2.20 meters (7.2 feet) of space between rows. In-flight service includes gourmet meal service designed by four leading Spanish chefs, each of them holding at least two Michelin stars; and a wine list that includes a wide choice of Spain’s best regional wines.
Iberia says its new long-haul Economy Class will feature more comfortable seats and individual display screens, with an extensive offer of entertainment options, as well as connections for passengers’ electronic devices.
The airline will also gradually introduce the new cabins on its 17-aircraft Airbus A340-600 fleet, so passengers flying from Los Angeles will also be offered these new products.
In 2013 Iberia will offer a total of 1.16 million seats between the U.S. and Spain. The Spanish airline carried 954,000 passengers in 2012, 4 per cent more than in the previous year.
Iberia launched its first route to the U.S., Madrid-New York, in August 1954. As a result of its joint business agreement and codesharing agreements with its oneworld partners, American Airlines and British Airways, Iberia is present in more than 100 US cities.
The Spanish carrier’s transformation plan also calls for the redesign of the www.iberia.com website, new VIP lounges in Miami and Buenos Aires, and a new check-in area for business passengers in Terminal 4 at Madrid-Barajas airport.
In recent months Iberia has introduced various innovations to improve passengers experience at its T4 hub. These include streamlining check-in and boarding procedures; using holographic information devices; and installing new automatic check-in machines and quick service points, as well as other innovations.