Spanish carriers rush to fill void left by Spanair collapse

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Spanish carriers Iberia and Vueling are stepping up frequencies on routes previously operated by Spanair following the Barcelona-based airline's collapse, with Vueling set to enter two new markets to fill the void.

Vueling chief executive Alex Cruz told Flightglobal that the airline plans to launch daily flights from Barcelona to Berlin and Hamburg in Germany.

Both routes were previously served by Spanair before it announced on 27 January that it was halting all flights and filing for bankruptcy protection.

Vueling will also boost frequencies on a number of existing routes, particularly domestic markets, and will move forward the start date of its planned Stockholm and Copenhagen flights.

"We see this as an opportunity to consolidate ourselves in Barcelona, but we're extremely conscious that the environment is very competitive and we will have to fight for every inch of growth here," said Cruz.

Iberia has also announced a number of frequency and capacity increases on routes previously served by Spanair.

The Oneworld carrier has added three daily flights on the busy Barcelona-Madrid trunk route, and will add an extra daily flight to the city pair during the summer season.

Frequencies and capacity will also be increased on services from Madrid to Bilbao, La Coruña, Copenhagen, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.