Iberia has made make its maiden non-stop flight between Barcelona-El Prat and São Paulo-Guarulhos, with 100% seat occupancy. The company expects a passenger load factor higher than 90% throughout 2011.
The new service will operate on Wednesdays and Sundays in 254-seat Airbus A340/300s. In the remaining months of the year the total offer of seats in both directions will exceed 26,000.
The new route consolidates Brazil as Iberia’s most important Latin American destination and makes it the company’s fastest-growing market anywhere in 2011, with two of the four new routes launched by the Spanish airline this year.
A new Madrid-Fortaleza/Recife, service began in February. Iberia offers flights to more Brazilian cities than any other Latin American country. Now serving São Paulo from both Madrid and Barcelona, it also flies once a day to Rio de Janeiro, and since February 1 to Recife and Fortaleza, with three weekly flight to each. It also offers other eight additional destinations in Brazil under code-share to Brasilia, Curitiba, Vitoria, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte, Salvador do Bahia, Manaus and Goiania
Iberia’s supply of seats between Brazil and Spain will total some 731,000 in 2011, an increase of 30% from last year, making Brazil the airline’s fastest-growing market.
Last year the company flew a record number of passengers –492,000– between the two countries, a 7% increase from 2009, and the passenger load factor reached 87%.
Brazil is one of Iberia’s first Latina American destinations, with flights to Rio dating from 1950, and to São Paulo from 1958.
This year the airline has also launched a new direct service between Barcelona and Miami.