New Spanish long-haul venture Air Madrid plans to launch services in May 2004 and has indicated it will initially lease two new widebodies, writes Rainer Uphoff. It is believed to be evaluating the Airbus A330 and Boeing 767. The airline aims to serve Caribbean and Latin America tourist destinations, including Cuba, the Dominican Republic Mexico, Panama and Venezuela.

Chief Executive Javier Taibo says the airline is to operate new aircraft "because of reliability, cost, performance and passenger appeal considerations. We plan to receive another two aircraft in 2005 and a fifth in 2006."

The carrier will use a two-class layout with business and low-fare tourist seats. It expects one-third of seats to be flight-only, with the rest from package tour operator parent Alada Tours.

Source: Flight International