Iberia to launch 3 weekly San Juan/Madrid flights starting July 2
Spain’s flagship airline, Iberia, will resume its San Juan/Madrid direct connections starting July 2, with three weekly flights out of the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (LMM). The traffic will represent $8.5 million in economic benefit for Puerto Rico over a year.
Iberia will be operating the Madrid-San Juan route on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays using Airbus A330-200 aircraft, with capacity for 288 passengers — 19 in business class and 269 in economy.
During its participation in this year’s International Tourism Fair (FITUR, in Spanish) in Madrid, Carlos Mercado-Santiago, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and Javier Sánchez-Pietro, president of the Iberia signed an agreement to promote the island as a tourist destination in the more than 90 destinations that the Spanish airline serves in Europe.
The agreement between Iberia and the Tourism Co. includes a collaborative strategy of both organizations together with the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC, in Spanish) and Discover Puerto Rico.
It includes the promotion of Puerto Rico in all the airline’s communication channels, such as videos and articles in the entertainment system, its “Ronda” magazine, social networks and website, among others.
“These three direct flights, during the 52 weeks of the year, are equivalent to a total of 44,928 available seats, which represent an estimated economic impact of more than $ 8.5 million,” said Mercado-Santiago.
“In addition to this injection into the local economy, the arrival of these flights will generate jobs and economic activity in sectors such as hotels, restaurants, tour operators, transportation, and many other businesses that provide services to our visitors, creating a considerable indirect economic impact,” he said.
Coinciding with the restart of operations on the Island, on July 5 Iberia will mark 72 years flying to Puerto Rico.
“We trust that our collaboration will be very fruitful. It is an immense joy to recover our operation with Puerto Rico and gradually return to our usual flight schedule,” said Sánchez-Pietro.
“In addition, the reason for celebration is double because on July 5 we celebrate 72 years of our first flight — operated with a Douglas DC-4 — and which was described as a complete success from the start and, of course, we hope to reach many more,” Sánchez-Prieto added.
Meanwhile, Jorge Hernández, CEO of Aerostar Puerto Rico — which operates the LMM airport — said Iberia’s return “represents the reestablishment of Puerto Rico’s connection with Europe, for the first time since the pandemic. This route is also one of the most important direct connections from San Juan to Europe.”
The restart also gives Puerto Rico the opportunity to “boost tourist activity in all regions, given the fact that both the tropical climate and the cultural heritage that distinguishes Puerto Rico in the Caribbean are highly attractive to European tourists,” said Mercado-Santiago.