Another European flight option to Colombia is being added with Iberia starting flights from Madrid, Spain to Medellín and Cali starting on July 3. Iberia will be flying a circular route with flights going from Madrid to Medellín to Cali and then back to Madrid. This is similar to the circular route strategy being used by KLM for its new flights from Europe that started last month with a route from Amsterdam to Bogotá to Cali and then back to Amsterdam.
Iberia will have three weekly flights for its new route to Medellín and Cali that will be scheduled on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday each week. The flights will use new Airbus A330 aircraft, all of which include some seats that turn into two-meter beds and in-flight entertainment in all seats. The schedule for the new Iberia flights to Colombia is as follows:
- Flight IB6589 – Depart Madrid 12:30 Arrive Medellin 16:25
- Flight IB6589 – Depart Medellin 17:50 Arrive Cali 18:55
- Flight IB6588 – Depart Cali 20:20 Arrive 13:25 (next day)
Iberia is part of the British-Spanish multinational International Consolidated Airlines Group holding company along with British Airways. Iberia already has flights to Colombia between Madrid and Bogotá. The new Colombia destinations of Medellín and Cali being added by Iberia will increase to 23 the number of routes resumed or launched by Iberia in the past year. Iberia currently flies to 115 destinations in 42 countries.
In 2014 Iberia launched services to Montevideo, Santo Domingo, Istanbul, and Athens, while the company’s low-cost Iberia Express subsidiary began flying to Stockholm, Amsterdam, Hanover, and Stuttgart. Additional Iberia routes to open shortly are to Florence, Hamburg, Catania, Palermo, Budapest, and Madeira.
In 2010, 2011 and 2012, Iberia was the leading airline operator in terms of departure seats between Europe and Latin America but the company slipped behind Air France in 2013. The new flights to Colombia are part of Iberia’s strategy to grow its Latin American business.
The Bottom Line
Starting in July, Iberia will be competing with Avianca, which already has direct flights between Medellín and Madrid and this competition should hopefully help to reduce costs.
With a 14% increase in foreigners visiting Colombia in 2014, we are not surprised to see airlines adding more direct flights to Colombia. Colombia is also expected to be among the 10 fastest growing tourist markets globally, so we expect to see more international flights added to the country over the next several years
However we wonder a bit why Iberia chose a circular route that includes Cali instead of Cartagena. While Cali is a bigger city, Cartagena is much more of a tourist destination in Colombia than Cali. We also wonder why KLM chose a circular route that includes Cali as its second city instead of Medellín, which is a much bigger city with more international arrivals.
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