As Iberia continues to grow its Panama network the airline has launched a fifth weekly flight between Madrid and Panama City.
The Spanish airline now reaches the Panamanian capital on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Thanks to its flights to other cities in the region and connections with local airlines, Iberia can book passengers to and from Panama City on any day of the week.
On some of the flights Iberia operates the largest aircraft in its fleet, the Airbus A340-600, with 100 seats more than the A340-300 aircraft normally used on the route.
For 2012 Iberia will offer a record total of 145,000 seats on the Panama route, a 33% increase from last year, which also saw a large rise in seat supply from the 77,000 of 2010. Demand on the route rose by 35% in 2011 to some 90,000 passengers, and the passenger load factor exceeded 80%.
Iberia’s Central America Manager Maria Esther Fernández said:
“No other Iberia route grew as strongly as Madrid-Panama, meeting our highest expectations”. She added that “our aim is to continue to grow, and as soon as possible to offer flights every day which, along with the improvements to both tourist and business class seating sections, will enable Iberia to offer a product that is hard to beat.”
Iberia’s market share on the Spain-Panama route climbed to 69% in 2011, and its share of all Europe-Panama passenger traffic came to 34%. For Iberia’s premium Business Plus class the figures were even better, at 87% and 43%, respectively.
Two thirds of passengers on the Panama route flying to or from other cities in Spain, Europe, or the Middle East. Only 33% begin and/or end their journeys in Madrid, while 23% fly to or from the other 31 Spanish cities served by Iberia, and 44% fly to/from one of the 54 Iberia destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
The other Spanish cities supplying the most traffic to the route are Barcelona, followed by Vigo, Valencia, Santiago de Compostela, and Bilbao. Outside of Spain, most of the Panama-bound traffic flies to or from Italy, France, Israel, and Germany.
This destination isn’t new to the Spanish airline, Iberia began to fly to Panama on April 7, 1971 using a DC-8 that covered the Madrid-Santo Domingo-Panama-Guatemala route. Now it operates five non-stop Madrid-Panama City flight per week in their Airbus A-340 aircraft, in which the Business Plus section give Iberia passengers 220 cm of space between rows and seats that unfold into completely flat beds.