Start-up Hispania reveals Granada A320 launch plans

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Andalusia-based start-up airline Hispania Airways has revealed plans to launch scheduled flights to four international and four domestic destinations in December, using initially an Airbus A320 from Cosmo Lineas Aereas.

In the second week of December Hispania will launch flights from Granada to London Gatwick, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Rome and Marrakech, each with two weekly frequencies.

While all routes were operated previously by different carriers, Hispania faces competition only on the route to Paris which is operated by Transavia and, seasonally, Vueling.

Hispania will also fly from Granada to Madrid, Barcelona, Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Director general Diego Guerrero says that the carrier's investors, after analysing several options, considered Granada the best location from which to launch a new airline.

"We studied several alternatives and found Granada to be an appealing place to start an airline because of its combination of strong leisure and conventional traffic, as well as a cost-efficient environment," he says.

He claims that Granada is a vastly underserved destination because Malaga, despite being 150km away, is "cannibalising" almost all its international traffic.

Hispania will use an A320 from Lithuanian carrier Avion Express, which is operating under a wet-lease contract with Madrid based Cosmo Lineas Aereas. Guerrero says this is an "interim solution" as the company is in the process of obtaining its own air operator's certificate.

"We are considering a second base in Portugal, so we are considering obtaining a Portuguese rather than a Spanish AOC," Guerrero says.

Hispania is a historic brand in Spanish aviation, as Hispania Lineas Aereas was a Palma de Mallorca-based charter airline that operated flights to central and northern European tourism markets in the 1980s.