MIAMI- Volotea (V7) is set to open two to four bases in Spain after it reached an agreement with International Airlines Group (IAG), obtaining more routes and slots transferred from Iberia (IB).

Improving the connectivity across the country, V7 will operate some flights flown by IB and Air Europa (UX) as stated in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with IAG. The scheduled flights will cover Madrid, Asturias, Canary and Balearic Islands, Basque Country and Galicia.

“The experience of our team was instrumental in making us an airline of reference, profitable and with great flexibility, and has been key to reach this agreement with Iberia, something that will allow us to make an important step forward, especially in Spain,” said Carlos Muñoz, Volotea Founder and CEO.

“The challenge is very exciting and I’m sure that the great team at Volotea will be able to offer the Spanish client what we know best: to launch new routes at very competitive prices and with a high level of service.” added Muñoz.

Further expansion news in the Spanish market

Following the ownership of UX by IB and to simplify the buyout approval by the Competition Authorities of the European Commission’s (EC), IAG’s airline and V7 arranged a “fix-it-first remedy” deal in EC’s considered routes. The proposal must first be approved by the EC.

Currently, the independent carrier operates 92 routes in Spain, carrying 1.4 million passengers in 2019. For the set up of this cooperation, the fleet and staff will increase to 39 aircraft and 1,500 employees.

Profitability numbers since 2011

Being one of the fastest growing independent airlines in Europe, V7 has over 260,000 flights and 30 million passengers flown since its foundation in 2011. Thus, the agreement represents a competitive advantage, making V7 one of the main five airlines operating in Spain.

“When we started to fly in April 2012, our experience in the industry allowed us to progress in a rather complex moment, focusing in an unattended niche, that of improving the connectivity of medium-sized cities in Europe”, said Muñoz, in relation to V7 current bases in Asturias and Bilbao.

Photo: Bene Riobó

In 2019, the company broke its own passengers’ record of 2018 by carrying more than 7,6m with its highest seat load of about 94%. The new Spanish bases will increase the 354 routes from the 16 bases in five European countries that V7 has.

The carrier also plans to opens new bases in Lyon (France), Naples (Italy) and Hamburg (Germany), in 2020, being present in 15 countries. With the opening of 30-60 routes and 1 and 3 bases each year, the airline provides 1,500 employees.