LONDON – This week has seen Spanish carrier Iberia announce a significant expansion plan throughout its network, with more planes joining the fleet, as well as the introduction of new cabin products.

The Latin American market where the carrier is expanding to Brazil, Uruguay, Ecuador, Argentina, and Peru.

Latin American Expansion

Last June, Iberia increased frequencies to Rio de Janeiro from four to five per week.

However, starting from July 2019, flights will operate daily, offering more than 180,000 seats per year, representing a 32% increase in capacity.

IB6025 will depart Madrid at 11:55, arriving into Rio at 17:45, both local times. The return, IB6024, will depart Rio at 19:10, arriving into Madrid at 10:10 the next day.

Secondly, the Spanish carrier will up-gauge its Madrid-Montevideo route to daily flights from five times per week. The daily service boosts capacity by 20% to a seat supply of more than 180,000.

IB6011 will depart Madrid at 0005, arriving into Montevideo at 08:00, both local times. The return, IB6012, will depart Montevideo at 13:20, arriving back into Madrid at 06:05 the next morning.

Likewise, Iberia is boosting services to Quito from six weekly to daily, representing a 9.4% increase to nearly 245,000 seats on offer per year.

The service will also operate with the Airbus A340-600s with the new Premium Economy seating sections inside.

IB6453 will depart Madrid at 11:50, arriving into Quito for 1615, both local times. IB6454 will then depart Quito at 17:55, arriving into Madrid at 11:15 the next morning.

Up next is Lima. The airline will add 2,154 seats to Peru, with more than 100 flights to operate between July and August.

IB6659 will depart Madrid at 13:10, arriving into Lima at 1820, both local times. The return, IB6650, will depart Lima at 20:00, arriving into Madrid at 14:25 the next day. Both of these flights will be daily.

The second daily flight, IB6653, will depart Madrid at 23:55, arriving into Lima at 04:35 on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

The return, IB6654 will depart Lima at 11:25, arriving into Madrid at 06:00 the next day on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

North American Routes

The carrier has also announced that from April 12 to September 27 next year, non-stop flights to San Francisco will launch on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The Airbus A330-200 will be the aircraft of choice, offering 289 seats per flight, meaning an annual supply of 40,000 seats.

The A350 Strategy

The carrier is set to receive three more Airbus A350-900s in 2019, with which Iberia will deploy it on flights to Buenos Aires and Chicago. The carrier is already using these planes on the Madrid-New York service.

The Buenos Aires route will see an upgrade in both seat capacity and hard product, as 17 flights per week will be on offer with the brand-new airliner. Over 600,000 seats annually will be on sale between both cities, an increase of 19% in capacity.

As for Chicago, the A350 will operate to O’Hare from May 2019 and will be the second U.S. destination after New York to welcome the aircraft in the carrier’s portfolio.

At the start of the Summer 2019 season, passengers flying to Havana and Johannesburg will have the opportunity to buy Premium Economy seats.

Iberia’s Airbus A330-300s will operate these routes, offering 29 Business Class seats, 21 Premium Economy seats and 242 Economy seats.

Overall, this is a big expansion for Iberia, particularly in the Latin American market. As for the United States and Africa, it seems that the carrier is slowly attempting to grow further.

It will be interesting to see whether we will see further expansions going into the Summer 2019 season from this carrier.