Cancun, Q.R. — The lifting of EU restrictions has motivated the Spanish airline Iberia to boost its flights to Mexico. As of September, Iberia says they plan to operate 14 weekly flights into Mexico, up from the current 10, but still down from pre-pandemic 21 flights.
The reactivation of the airline sector in Mexico has been led by the domestic segment and driven mainly by the US, but the history of the recovery in the European market is just beginning. Until a few days ago, non-resident travelers were prohibited from accessing countries such as Spain or France, but with the lifting of these restrictions, which facilitate the entry of people with vaccines, airlines such as Iberia are beginning to see potential in the Latin America region, particularly in Mexico.
By July, the airline plans to go from the current 10 weekly flights to 12, and by September, 14, operating with its A350-900 planes. Similarly, it will increase its operations in Santiago, Lima and Sao Paulo with a daily flight and other cities that, together, will add 90 weekly flights in 18 cities in 16 countries.
Mexico has been a destination that has remained attractive for the airline even since the first weeks of the pandemic. Víctor Moneo, director for Latin America at Iberia, explained that although the occupancy of operations has not reached pre-pandemic levels, having a greater offer of flights helps build trust among travelers and the new post-pandemic travel environment.
“In Mexico we started with a timid operation very early [in the pandemic], with three weekly flights. The bet is big, firm. Everybody wants to travel. We have not been able to leave for a year, the demand is returning, the appetite to travel is very clearly perceived,” he stressed.
Moneo said that traffic between the two countries has a differentiated recovery, where the family and vacation market has begun to reactivate more quickly, the business segment has only recently began to show its first signs of return.
“From the corporate traffic there are the first glimpses. Although companies are further behind, when we speak with corporate clients, there are already those who are beginning to plan their trips,” he said.