Iberia is boosting its services to Israel, which is now its most important medium-haul destination. In 2011 the Spanish airline will supply a total of some 264,000 seats between Madrid and Tel Aviv, representing a 23% increase over 2010 and one of the company’s largest increases anywhere. The expansion in capacity is being achieved both by adding flights and by using larger aircraft.
Since March, Iberia is offering 18 weekly return flights between Madrid and Tel Aviv, compared with the 14 weekly flights offered last year. This frequency is expected to rise to three flights per day as soon as possible.
Each week two of the flights are operated with one of Iberia’s largest aircraft, the 254-seat Airbus A-340/300, with more than twice the capacity of its medium-haul Airbus A-319, with 122 seats. The A-340 will be used for a third weekly flight starting in May, and for a fourth before the end of the year. Tel Aviv is Iberia’s sole foreign medium-haul destination to be served by the A-340. Iberia’s aim is to increase the number of frequencies operated with this aircraft between Israel and Madrid.
The increase in Madrid- Tel Aviv flight frequencies means more and better connections for passengers from the Spanish capital. According to the latest data, 73% of all passengers begin or end their journeys in cities other than Madrid, with Buenos Aires in first place, followed by Mexico City, Bogota, Lisbon, São Paulo, Miami, and Lima.
The expansion of seat supply will also help Iberia enlarge its market share on the route, currently 27% overall, and 43% in Business Class.
Iberia presented yesterday in Tel Aviv its new Business Club and its improved Business Plus classes. The Business Club product is Iberia’s premium class available on medium-haul flights such as the Madrid – Tel Aviv route. Among other features are the new seats that are 55 cm. wide, and with space between rows of 1.27 m. Business travelers can also use the last PSP (Play Station Portable) device for in-flight entertainment –a wide choice of films and audio channels.
Iberia has flown to Israel since July, 1983. In 2010 it carried some 173,000 passengers on the Madrid-Tel Aviv route, a 7.3% increase over the previous year, and the passenger load factor was five points higher, at 80%.