Vueling 'spoilt for choice' over interline agreements

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Vueling has received requests to form interline agreements from "every single long-haul carrier with flights into Barcelona" El Prat airport, chief executive Alex Cruz tells Flightglobal.

The Spanish low-cost carrier last month signed an interline deal with British Airways covering 74 of the former's routes, and Cruz says negotiations continue with American Airlines over its two daily Barcelona flights.

But the pool of carriers expressing interest in cooperation is far wider, also including some airlines which have yet to formally announce services to El Prat.

"For us it's a slow process, because we don't like adopting the rules that they bring to the table when they come in," he says in reference to the broader talks. "We're a small carrier and frankly we're trying to do things slightly differently.

"Also, the IT systems for us are not as plug-and-play as they can be for traditional airlines, but there is a list of airlines [being considered] and there is an evolution."

Vueling expects to sign "one, perhaps two" more interline deals before the end of the year, and is prioritising "friendly airlines" with which it already has a working relationship, Cruz adds.