Iberia is again strengthening its presence in Central America.
Madrid – On January 4 the Spanish airline will operate a fifth weekly flight to Guatemala and Panama on Sundays to in addition to existing services on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The fourth frequency was added only last May, which indicates the success of this route.
The figures speak for themselves. In 2007 Iberia carried 253,000 passengers between Central America and Europe, a 17.5 per cent rise on 2006, with average seat occupancy of nearly 90 per cent. In 2009 capacity will be hiked to 357,000, an increase of 6.5 per cent from 2008 and of 26 per cent from 2007.
Iberia, which this month is marking the fourth anniversary of its services to Guatemala, Panama and Costa Rica, is showing its commitment to Central America with the additional service. It is the sole European airline to service the region without interruption since 1971. Since 2005, the first full year of these flights to the region, seat supplies have almost doubled.
The fifth weekly frequency to Guatemala and Panama raises to twelve the number of weekly flights Iberia operates between Central America and Europe, since it also operates a daily return flight between Madrid and San José, Costa Rica, and is the sole European airline to do so.
The new flights to Guatemala City and Panama City also imply increased options for connecting flights to other regional destinations under code shares with local airlines. Thus Iberia offer daily flights to Managua from San José and Miami; to San Salvador from San José (daily), and starting in January will offer five weekly flights from Guatemala, as well as daily flights from Miami, and six weekly flights from Mexico City. It will also offer four weekly flights to San Pedro Sula from San José, along with five weekly flights from Guatemala, and daily flights from Miami.
Iberia flights depart from Guatemala City at 17:05 h. and stop at Panama City and take off for Madrid at 21:40 h, arriving at 14:30 h the following day. In Madrid, passengers can make easy connections with Iberia to another 34 Spanish destinations, 43 European cities, and 9 destinations in Africa and the Middle East. West-bound flights leave Madrid at 12:05 h and land in Guatemala City at 16:35 h.
On these routes Iberia flies Airbus A-340s, the 300 and 600 models carrying 260 and 352 passengers, respectively, both of them equipped with the lavish Business Plus seating class, where passenger can enjoy more space, more comfort, and gourmet meals designed by Spanish master chef Sergi Arola, as well as exclusive check-in facilities and access to all the comforts provided at the Velázquez VIP lounge in Iberia’s Terminal 4 hub at the Madrid-Barajas airport.