Spanish Skyteam alliance member Air Europa plans to include Santiago de Chile and Cordoba, Argentina, into its growing network of destinations in South America from April 2014, while establishing Salvador de Bahia in northeastern Brazil as its gateway to new markets in the region.
Air Europa confirms that the airline plans to increase its current three-weekly flights between Madrid and Salvador to daily with flights continuing on to Santiago de Chile three days a week, Cordoba on two days and Montevideo, Uruguay, on two separate days. All flights will be operated with Airbus A330 aircraft with the airline the only one on all four routes.
Santiago and Cordoba will be new destinations for Air Europa while the new one-stop flights to Montevideo will add capacity to its current thrice weekly nonstop between Madrid to Montevideo.
Air Europa is currently in the process of obtaining local traffic rights in order to sell seats on the legs beyond Salvador. Globalia, the Spanish integrated travel group that owns Air Europa, has important tourism interests in the region.
With Spanish, Uruguayan, Argentinean and Chilean travelers accounting currently for nearly 40% of the foreign visitors to Salvador, one of Brazil's tourism hotspots, Globalia wants to convert its airline into a major player in northeastern Brazil's international air connectivity.
Over the past several months, Air Europa has added Montevideo and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, to its network and has openly admitted that it will go after any route not properly attended or abandoned by market leader Iberia. Since its route restructuring began about two years ago, Iberia has dropped both Montevideo and Cordoba.
Air Europa, whose long-haul fleet is currently composed by 13 A330s, has also 8 Boeing 787-8s on order, whose delivery will further strengthen the airline's position to compete head-to-head with Iberia at both carriers' Madrid base.